Former CPI(M) member likely to be elected civic chief
The Congress has decided to support Janakeeya Vikasana Samithy's (JVS) M.R. Murali, who was expelled from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M), as the chairperson of the Shoranur municipality in the district.
Leaders of the Congress and JVS met on Wednesday in the presence of Leader of the Opposition Oomen Chandy and arrived at the arrangement. In the local body polls, JVS had won nine seats fighting both the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF). The Congress, a constituent of the UDF, could win only eight seats. With the UDF deciding to support JVS, the combine will get a simple majority in the 33-member Council. This is the first time the CPI (M) has lost power in Shoranur.
Ottappalam municipality, which also the CPI (M) lost for the first time, will be led by Congress with the support of six CPI (M) rebels. In the 36-member Council, the Congress has seven and its ally Indian Union Muslim League, four seats. So they have 17 seats as against the LDF's 15. The BJP had won four seats.
The 52-member Palakkad municipality will have a Congress chairman. The post of vice-chairman will go to the IUML as in the last Council. The Congress won 19 seats and IUML, four. There are five Independents who are likely to support the Congress, which will ensure a simple majority for them in the Council. P.V. Rajesh of the Congress is a strong contender for the top post in Palakkad Municipality.
Chittur-Thathamangalam municipality, ruled by the Congress for three decades, will have a Congress chairman this time too. The post of vice-chairman goes to Socialist Janata Democratic (SJD), their new ally, who won three seats.
The Congress won 26 out of the 29 seats.