Kochi

With seats reserved for women, male politicians scramble for safe areas

Prominent male politicians in the city are scrambling for safe seats to contest in the upcoming civic polls as their sitting seats have been reserved for women.

The 50% women reservation system followed in the local bodies of the State would earmark 37 seats for women to contest in Kochi Corporation. In the process, the seats that were open in the general category during the last election have become reserved seats.

The sitting seats of prominent councillors, including Deputy Mayor K.R. Premakumar; Standing Committee chairpersons P.M. Harris, P.D. Martin and Johnson Master; and LDF leaders K.J. Antony, V.P. Chandran, Benedict Fernandez; former Standing Committee chairpersons A.B. Sabu and K.V.P. Krishnakumar, have been reserved for women in the upcoming elections.

Mr. Premakumar, who now represents the Konam division in the council, may move to Perumbadappu, from where he won the 2010 election. It was Mr. Premakumar who first recorded a UDF victory in the division, which was once considered as the stronghold of LDF.

Mr. Harris, the representative of Kaloor North, may try his luck from the nearby Pottakuzhi division, which was represented by CPI leader Shakkeer in 2010. As the division was reserved for women in 2015, CPI fielded Jamini, who won the division for the front. This time, Mr. Shakkeer may return to the division to contest.

Congress councillor M.B. Muralidharan may shift to Padivattom division, which is located close to the Vennala division, which he is representing in the council. Mr. Muralidharan had won the Padivattom seat too, earlier for the Congress.

LDF leader K.J. Antony may have to look for new seats if the party decides to field its veteran leader one more time to the council. He had earlier represented the Fort Kochi-Veli division. It would be a tough call for the CPI(M) if it decides to field Mr. Chandran to seek mandate again as almost all the seats in the Champakkara area have become reserved seats. It’s also the case with Mr. Sabu as no general seats are available for him to contest from his home turf. Mr. Sabu and Mr. Chandran may have to leave their home grounds and move to the central city areas in search of seats. The availability of seats for these senior councillors outside their domain would depend upon on a host of social and political factors. It is to be seen how many senior men would succeed to get a seat to contest in the election, which may be held by the year-end.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 12:39:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/with-seats-reserved-for-women-male-politicians-scramble-for-safe-areas/article32748358.ece

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