Twenty20, the corporate social responsibility or CSR wing of KITEX Group that wrested Kizhakkambalam village panchayat in a surprise victory on its electoral debut in 2015, has won three more panchayats in the Kerala local body elections
The apolitical forum has won Aikkarakunnu, Kunnathunadu and Mazhuvannur village panchayats, apart from retaining power in Kizhakkambalam panchayat.
In Kizhakkambalam, Twenty20 has already won 14 wards when results of 15 wards were in. In 2015, it had won 18 out of 19 wards.
In Kunnathunadu panchayat, Twenty20 won 11 seats out of the 16 it contested. At Aikkaranadu, it bagged all 14 wards, defeating Congress and CPI (M). In Vengola panchayat, the forum contested 11 seats and won six.
In another panchayat Mauzhuvanoor, the Twenty20 has emerged winner in 15 out of 19 wards.
Kizhakkambalam has been the first electoral laboratory of KITEX Group. Given that it had a clear sweep in the panchayat elections in 2015, the CPI (M) and Congress fielded common candidates to defeat the corporate group’s nominee. Last week, when voting was underway, a group of men belonging to CPI (M) and Congress had attacked a couple, who work at KITEX Group, when they came to the polling booth to vote. The couple had votes in Kizhakkambalam panchayat and have been residing there for several years.
What helped KITEX Group to spread its electoral wings outside Kizhakkambalam, where its garment manufacturing units are situated, is the welfare steps and developmental initiatives implemented in their home village.
Before the local body elections, KITEX had distributed membership in neighbouring four panchayats. At Kizhakkambalam, it has opened a supermarket where it sold provisions at subsidised rates. The group has also managed to develop road networks, ensure water supply in all settlements, including those of backward sections of society.
When Twenty20 became a hit in the local body elections, other apolitical community initiatives have failed to click. V4Kochi, which contested in Kochi corporation and Twenty20 Chellanam, which contested in Chellanam village, have not win any seats so far.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines