Thiruvananthapuram: The State Election Commission (SEC) has disqualified three members of the Vizhinjam grama panchayat including the local body’s president and vice-president under the Anti-Defection Act.

State Election Commissioner P. Kamalkutty issued an order on Tuesday disqualifying panchayat president Latha Sugathan, vice-president G. Wilson and member S.R. Sivaraj. The decision was based on a petition filed by the former panchayat president Asuntha Mohan.

Ms. Mohan of the CPI(M) was elected president after the LDF secured a majority in the elections to local bodies. The three disqualified members who were returned on CPI(M) tickets, voted against the president in the no-confidence motion moved by the UDF last August. After the motion was adopted, Ms. Sugathan and Mr. Wilson were elected president and vice-president respectively with the support of the UDF.

The success of the no-trust motion brought an end to over 20 years of LDF rule in the Vizhinjam panchayat.

A press note quoting Mr. Kamalkutty said the three members who had won the election on CPI(M) tickets were guilty of defection since they had voted with the Opposition and assumed power with the help of the UDF. — Special Correspondent