V.K. Madhu is district panchayat chief

District Collector Biju Prabhakar greets newly elected district panchayat president V.K. Madhu and vice president Shailaja Begum during the swearing-in ceremony in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.— Photo: S. Gopakumar  

V.K. Madhu of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] on Thursday sworn-in as the seventh president of the district panchayat while his party colleague A. Shailaja Begum assumed the office of vice-president. The Left Democratic Front had made a tremendous comeback in the panchayat by winning 19 of the 26 seats in the local body elections.

The elected members took charge at a special committee meeting held at the district panchayat office. In the election, Mr. Madhu and Ms. Begum secured 19 votes, while the United Democratic Front (UDF) candidates — Jose Lal G. and Shobhana Kumari — received six votes. The lone member of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the panchayat V. Lathakumari abstained from voting as per the decision of her party.

District Collector and District Electoral Officer Biju Prabhakar, who presided over the election process, administered oath to Mr. Madhu, who in turn administered the oath to the vice president.

Mr. Madhu, who won from the Palode division this time, comes with enough experience in running the affairs of the panchayat — he had headed the Education standing committee from 1995-2000. Shailaja is a two-time member in the district panchayat, representing the Chirayinkeezhu division.

The first committee is slated to be held on November 27. As per the notification issued by the State Election Commission, the district panchayat is bound to constitute standing committees before December 2. The Additional District Magistrate would preside over elections to the standing committees. Going by the numbers, it is almost certain that the ruling LDF, with its brute majority in the council, will have control of all five standing committees in the panchayat.

For the opposition to have a say in the elections to the standing committees, it should have had at least 12 members. With the UDF posting its worst-ever tally in the history of the panchayat, the doors are shut for the Congress to head any of the committees.

The LDF, which had maintained a stronghold over the panchayat since it came into being in 1995, lost its reins by a whisker last time. This time, the CPI(M) secured 16 seats, two more than simple majority, and the CPI won three.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 8:04:40 PM |

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