Tiruchi may get its first male Mayor

The de-reservation of the Mayor’s post of Tiruchi Corporation has opened upon the possibility of a male contender coming to occupy the position for the first time.

All those who had occupied the position since the first election for the post held in 1996, two years after Tiruchi’s upgradation as a corporation, have been women.

In the first election, late Punithavalli Palaniyandi of the Tamil Maanila Congress was declared elected. The then Deputy Mayor Emily Richard of the Congress was in charge briefly following Punithavalli’s demise.

Sarubala R.Tondaiman was elected to the post twice in 2001 and 2006. Although the post was de-reserved and converted as a general seat in 2006; Ms.Tondaiman got elected to the post as the DMK alloted the seat to the Congress. S. Sujatha held the position for a couple of years after Ms.Tondaiman resigned to contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2009. The AIADMK won the post for the first time in 2011 with A. Jaya being elected to the post.

The DMK, which has never occupied the position so far, is keen to wrest control of the civic body and is expected to field a strong candidate. The party’s principal secretary and Municipal Administration K. N. Nehru has already held a meeting with local leaders of the alliance parties.

Representatives of some of the alliance parties, who attended the meet, observed that there were clear indications that the DMK is keen on gaining a majority in the civic body and wrest the Mayor’s seat in what is expected to be an indirect election for the post. “It is quite apparent that the DMK had been waiting for this opportunity for long and is faced with the compulsion of having to satisfy its functionaries. Given the large number of allies, we may have to settle for fewer seats (wards) in the alliance this time around,” conceded, a representative of an alliance party.

In M. Anbazhagan, former two-time Deputy Mayor and four-time councillor, the DMK has an experienced candidate in its ranks. Alliance compulsions had put paid to his aspiration to become the Mayor in 2006. A staunch supporter of Mr. Nehru, Mr. Anbazhagan could well be the DMK’s choice for the Mayor’s post unless the party’s south district secretary and Minister for School Education Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi manages to push through his nominee. Mr. Anbazhagan, who is quietly confident of his credentials, however, maintained that the party will decide on the candidate.

The AIADMK, which opted for a new face in 2011, does not have a clear frontrunner for the post as of now, as it is faced with the task of recovering some of the lost ground from the resurgent DMK-front which swept all constituencies not only in the city but the entire Tiruchi district in the 2021 Assembly election.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 8:27:05 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/tiruchi-may-get-its-first-male-mayor/article38292487.ece