‘Not aiming for Mayor’

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Scotching rumours that he was aspiring to become the mayor, Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) chairman and KPCC general secretary N.Venugopal said he was quiet happy in his current job, but made it clear that mayor Tony Chammany should step down and clear his name.

In an exclusive interview to DC, Venugopal refuted reports that he was plotting against Chammany. “But it will be good for the party and Mr Chammany, if he keeps off the post till he is cleared of corruption charges”, he said.

“I don’t want to be the mayor in a second term. I contested the mayor’s post in 2010, but tasted defeat. Now, after two years, when the political leadership in the corporation including the mayor is in the dock over corruption charges, I don’t want to take benefit of the situation in any way”, said Venugopal.

There were reports that though Venugopal was accommodated as GCDA chairman, he was still smarting under the defeat he suffered and was eyeing the coveted post.

Lashing against Chammany and his team, the GCDA chairman said that the allegations of corruption had defamed the party, adding that there should be corrective measures. “This is not just a factional issue within the Congress. The mayor and town planning committee chairman are answerable and the officials should not be made the only scapegoats”, he said.

The post of GCDA chairman is more desirable and more powerful than that of the mayor as the authority has a wider area under its ambit and more powers to take up mega developmental projects, according to Venugopal.

“When the new metropolitan authority is formed, the chairman will have more powers to take up largescale urban development projects which will help shape the metro city”, he added.

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