With the Left Democratic Front (LDF) having the upper hand in the 74-member council with the backing of 36 councillors, including two Independents, CPI(M) district committee member M. Anilkumar is set to be the next Mayor.
The party officially finalised on Sunday that Mr. Anilkumar, who has served three terms as a councillor and led the CPI(M) election campaign this time, will be its candidate for Mayor. He was elected from Elamakkara North, Division 33 of the corporation, this time, and has represented Puthukalavattam earlier. He was also the CPI(M) candidate from the Ernakulam constituency for the Legislative Assembly election in 2016.
The LDF candidate for Deputy Mayor is K.A. Ansiya, the CPI councillor representing Mattancherry, who contested and won for the first time this year.
A United Democratic Front (UDF) parliamentary party meeting on Sunday decided to field Antony Kureethara to contest against Mr. Anilkumar for the post of Mayor. Seena Gokulan is the UDF candidate for Deputy Mayor. Mr. Kureethara is returning to the council for the second time, after having represented Fort Kochi in the 2010-15 council. Ms. Gokulan was elected from Puthukalavattom this time. The UDF had won 31 seats in the council. Of the four Independent candidates who won this time, one candidate decided to side with the UDF.
While the NDA councillors usually abstained from participating in the election to the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, they are contesting this time, having won five seats in the council. Sudha Dileep Kumar, BJP councillor representing Ernakulam Central, said she would contest for the post of Mayor while Priya Prashant, who won from Amaravathy, would contest for the post of Deputy Mayor. “The BJP has so far held only a maximum of two seats in the council. Since we bagged five this time, the party decided that the NDA councillors will contest in the election,” she said.
The District Collector will preside over the election on Monday.