The CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) managed to wrest control of five out of the six municipal corporations in Kerala, underlining its domination across the state’s major cities.
The December 16 results to the elections to rural and urban local bodies across the state had shown the LDF getting a simple majority in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kozhikode corporations. In two other corporations — Kochi and Thrissur — the LDF was neck-and-neck with the Congress-led UDF. Kannur corporation was the only one where the UDF had a simple majority.
On Monday, the LDF was able to install its mayor and deputy mayor candidates in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kozhikode thanks to its majority in those councils. In addition, the LDF returned to power in Kochi Corporation after a period of 10 years by claiming the support of Independents and rebel UDF councillors. The rebels were promised posts of standing committee chairpersons.
In fact, a tussle ensued between LDF and UDF councillors Monday inside the Kochi corporation council hall just before the deputy mayor election, over the issue of LDF councillors not arriving on time.
In Thrissur Corporation, while the LDF could not get its own mayor, it captured power by making the rebel Congress councillor MK Varghese the mayor for the first two years. According to the arrangement, the next two years of the governing council will have a CPM mayor, and a CPI mayor will take over in the final year.
Arya Rajendran, 21, scripted history by becoming one of the youngest mayors in the country after taking oath as chief of Thiruvananthapuram corporation. The LDF has picked Prasanna Ernest as Kollam mayor, M Anilkumar as Kochi mayor and Dr Beena Philip as Kozhikode mayor. TO Mohanan was elected as mayor of Kannur corporation.
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