Mangalore to get new mayor and deputy after a gap of six months

With the State government announcing the reservation roster for the heads of the urban local bodies, the race for the mayor and deputy mayor posts has picked up in Mangalore, nearly six months after the elections to the City Corporation Council.

As per the notification, the post of mayor has been reserved to a woman of general category while the post of deputy mayor has been set aside for a candidate from general category. The notification has set off speculation and calculation within the Congress, which emerged the winner in the March 7 local body polls, with regard to the party’s mayoral candidate.

According to sources in the Congress there are four senior women councillors who are likely to stake claim for the mayor’s post. Of them Jacintha Vijaya Alfred, a four-time councillor currently representing Falnir Ward, appears to be a strong contender because of her seniority. Other women councillors in the contention are S. Appi, a three-time councillor currently representing Jeppu ward; Kavitha Sanil, a two-time councillor, from Pachchanady ward, and Nagaveni, a two-time councillor, from Derebail West ward.

Sources said that Ms. Alfred, a Christian, or Ms. Sanil, a Billava, are the front-runners. It is also pointed out that Ms. Appi and Ms. Nagaveni, who are from the Scheduled Castes, would get their chances under the reserved category in the remaining four terms.

The fact that both Ms. Alfred and Ms. Sanil have earlier worked as chairpersons of various standing committees, ranging from public health, education, social justice, town planning and improvement, stand them in good stead to grab the top post in the council. In the 60-member council the Congress has 35 seats, BJP 20 seats, Janata Dal (Secular) two seats while a candidate each from the Communist Party of India (Marxists), and the Social Democratic Party of India, and an independent complete the line-up. The term of the last elected council ended on February 20. The Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada has been managing the affairs of the civic body ever since in his capacity as the administrator.

Contenders for the deputy mayor’s post are yet to emerge.

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