28-year-old woman set to become new Chennai Mayor 

Mayor and Deputy mayor expected to be elected unopposed in the indirect elections for the posts

Updated - March 04, 2022 02:15 am IST

Published - March 04, 2022 02:14 am IST - CHENNAI

R. Priya

R. Priya | Photo Credit: PICHUMANI K

R. Priya, a 28-year-old councillor of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, from Ward 74 in the north of the city, is set to become Chennai Mayor on Friday. DMK has announced the names of mayor and deputy mayor on Thursday.  Ms. Priya is expected to be elected unopposed in the indirect elections for the post of Mayor on Friday at 9.30 a.m.  DMK councillor M.Makesh Kumar, from the southern parts of the city, is expected to be sworn in deputy mayor at 2.30 p.m. on Friday. This time the post of Chennai Mayor was reserved for a dalit, woman candidate.

DMK has a majority in the Greater Chennai Corporation Council, which represents more than 61 lakh electors in the 426 sq. km. of the city. With 153 councillors, DMK is expected to win the indirect elections to the mayor and deputy mayor posts of Chennai. The opposition AIADMK has only 15 councillors. Congress has 13 councillors, Independents 5, CPI(M) 4, VCK 4, MDMK 2, CPI 1, BJP 1, AMMK 1 and IUML 1.  Speaking to media persons, Ms. Priya said Chief Minister M. K. Stalin was her role model. “Our leader has selected a dalit woman, and given me an opportunity to serve the people. My priority will be the development of roads. Many areas have bad roads. During rain, there is flooding. So, we need better storm water drains. I will also focus on cleanliness. I belong to north Chennai where cleanliness is a civic issue. I will take steps to improve cleanliness in the area. I will get advice from our leader before making decisions. I will take steps to facilitate employment for women,” said Ms. Priya, a resident of Mangalapuram in the northern congested part of the city. 

She is the neice of former DMK MLA Chengai Sivam. She is married and has a four-year-old daughter. On Thursday, officials at Ripon Buildings made arrangements for the swearing-in ceremony of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, with the building festooned with flowers. The voting compartment and the ballot box for the election of the mayor and deputy mayor was kept in the council hall of the heritage building on Thursday. Officials said the mayor and deputy mayor, both belonging to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, are likely to be elected unopposed as the party has a majority.

Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and all the 200 councillors of the city represent the people in the city and are a very important component of the local body government. “It is a welcome step. We look forward to the active involvement of the elected representatives for the better governance of the city,” said Mr.Bedi. AIADMK candidate in ward 74 Divya who lost to Ms.Priya in the local bodies elections said residents want civic infrastructure in the area to be improved. “Many residents in the ward do not get water supply. Drainage system is also poor,” said Ms.Divya.

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