Coimbatore Corporation on Monday got its first woman Deputy Mayor in Ward 73 Councillor S. Leelavathi Unni. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) Councillors elected the 53-year-old, first time Councillor at a special Council meeting, held ahead of the Council meeting.
As soon as the Corporation Commissioner T.K. Ponnusamy called for nominations, Ward 21 Councillor E. Senthil proposed and Ward 68 Councillor K. Sakthivel seconded Ms. Unni's candidature. Soon thereafter, the Commissioner declared her the winner as he said he had received no other nomination.
She later told journalists that she would work along with the Mayor, S.M. Velusamy, for the city's over-all development and ensuring proper implementation of schemes the Chief Minister had introduced.
Ms. Unni's name cropped up in the last minute after a couple councillors objected to the candidature of Ward 63 Councillor K.B. Balrose alias Balraj, said to be Mr. Velusamy's original choice. Sources said Ward 97 Councillor M. Manimaran raised the objection saying that Mr. Balraj was a lessee and running the Corporation's abattoir in Uppiliyapalayam since April 1, 2010.
Incidentally, the Coimbatore Corporation tabled a subject before the Council on Monday saying that as Mr. Balraj was disinclined to run the abattoir it wanted to invite fresh bids for the facility.
Soon after the objection arose, the Mayor along with a few confidants and officials held a discussion. This delayed the conduct of the election by half-an-hour.
After Ms. Unni's election, Councillors expressed their happiness saying the party was right in choosing a senior member. She is the party's urban district unit's women's wing secretary and has been in the party for over 20 years.
Member of the Legislative Assembly from Coimbatore South R. Doraisamy, who was present in the Council, thanked the members for choosing a party functionary from his constituency.
She is Coimbatore's fourth Deputy Mayor after Sanganur M. Velusamy, K. Raghupathy and N. Karthik.