Kochi

Tough contest on the cards for Fort Kochi Veli

The election to the Fort Kochi Veli division of the Kochi corporation is likely to be complicated by the candidature of former Mayor K.J. Sohan, who is contesting independently.

Independent candidate K.J. Sohan.

Independent candidate K.J. Sohan.  

Mr. Sohan has contested and won five times from Fort Kochi Veli. He became the Deputy Mayor in 1983, Mayor in 1990 and was elected chairperson of the town planning standing committee in 2010, which was the last time he won from the division.

Fort Kochi Veli was reserved for women in 2015 and he contested from nearby Nazreth instead, where he lost. “This time the CPI(M) insisted on fielding a candidate from Fort Kochi Veli. But the seat has been held since 1979 by the parties that constituted the erstwhile Janata Party, and then splintered,” said Mr. Sohan, who is miffed that Loktantric Janata Dal candidates were not accommodated in seat-sharing agreements.

The issues he raises are systemic ones of corruption, the trust deficit that governments suffer and the lack of utilisation of funds under the Smart Cities and solar cities projects. Problems cannot be resolved at just the division level, he says.

LDF nominee Benedict Fernandes.

LDF nominee Benedict Fernandes.  

Two-time LDF councillor Benedict Fernandes, who has earlier represented Amaravathy and Island North, is contesting from Fort Kochi Veli for the first time. Mr. Fernandes says that he is banking on his work as a councillor over the past decade to get him the votes.

UDF candidate Soly Joseph.

UDF candidate Soly Joseph.  

UDF candidate Soly Joseph, who is contesting for the first time and has been a part of the Kerala Students Union and the Youth Congress, says that he perceives the contest in the division only as one between the LDF and the UDF. The BJP candidate from the area, Nivin Hubert, is also a first-time a candidate.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 4:07:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/tough-contest-on-the-cards-for-fort-kochi-veli/article33151533.ece

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