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CPI(M)-led front sweeps Pariyaram college polls

C.S. Narayanan Kutty
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UDF leaders term election farcical, illegal; stay away from the polls

The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Sahakarana Janathipathya Munnani registered a sweeping victory in the elections to the governing body of the Pariyaram Medical College Hospital on Sunday. The rival United Democratic Front camp termed the polls “farcical and illegal.”

The Munnani won all the nine seats, to which elections were held, of the director board of the Kerala State Cooperative Hospital Complex and Centre for Advanced Medical Science (KSCHC & CAMS) which controls the medical college hospital (MCH) in the polls held at K.K.N. Pariyaram Memorial Government Higher Secondary School.

The polling process began at 10 a.m. as scheduled. The UDF camp virtually boycotted the polls with even its candidates staying away. As soon as the election results were announced, the CPI(M) camp staged a victory procession and announced the new governing body, with party State Secretariat member M.V. Jayarajan as the new chairman. Its tenure is scheduled to expire in 2016.

In a meeting held late Sunday evening it was decided to convene the next general body meeting on January 24 to elect other office-bearers.

Meanwhile, UDF district chairman Sunny Joseph said the front would take legal recourse as the case against the 2007 elections, which saw the CPI(M) coming to power, was still pending before the court.

Of the total number of 3700 voters, only 3153 voters – 2,504 individual voters and 649 votes from institutions – are eligible to vote.

The elections to the director board was necessitated following the resignation in July last of the CPI (M)-controlled board which took over the governance of the college under the banner of Samrakshana Samithi in a controversial election on September 23, 2007.

The UDF alleges that of the 3,700 members, over 2,600 were enlisted after the Samrakshana Samithi took over the college administration. The UDF camp had sought legal intervention, arguing that an administrative body that came to power through a controversial election had no powers to enlist new members.

The board headed by CPI (M) leader T.K. Govindan resigned on July 16, 2010, two years before its tenure as the hospital came under the administrator's rule on July 18. The High Court, last week, ordered separate counting of the votes of members on the old list that numbered 1,055, with votes of institutions put at 560 and individual voters at 484. Eleven votes go to apex bodies.

The UDF leaders, on Sunday, blamed the authorities for not arranging separate queues for members of the old list that had 1,055 voters. “The UDF supporters were intimidated by the CPI(M) workers, who threatened the former with dire consequences if they ventured out to vote,” he said.

However, Mr. Jayarajan refuted the UDF argument saying that the elections were held in the full glare of the media, with the electronic media telecasting the process live. “No untoward incident was reported during the entire process,” he argued.

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