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Council members to be sworn in on Sunday

Jayan Babu top contender for Mayor's post

Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The newly-elected members to the City Corporation Council will be sworn in on October 2 amidst uncertainties in finalising a power- sharing agreement between the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) (DIC(K).

CPI(M) Control Commission member C. Jayan Babu, who won from the Pappanamcode ward, has emerged as the top contender for the Mayor's post. A former Mayor and chairman of the Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority, Mr. Babu is also a member of the CPI(M) district secretariat.

Party sources said the choice of Mr. Babu was only a matter of formality. He had won by a margin of 1,444 votes defeating his nearest rival, an independent candidate.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) has decided to claim the Deputy Mayorship for the third time in succession.

Outgoing Deputy Mayor M. Sujanapriyan, who was re-elected from the Sreevaraham ward, and CPI State council member G.R. Anil, who won a fresh mandate from the Nemom constituency, are learnt to be in the running for the post.

The LDF partners are also gearing up for negotiations to decide on the elections to the post of standing committee chairmen.

The DIC(K) district leadership is likely to stake claim to the chairmanship of one of the standing committees. While the CPI(M) is learnt to be in favour of accommodating the DIC(K) in the new set up, the minor LDF partners are wary of conceding this demand.

With a tally of 65 seats in the 86-member council, the LDF is not dependent on the eight-member DIC(K) contingent to remain in power.

A prominent CPI(M) leader said the LDF would find it difficult to keep the DIC(K) at bay, in view of the impending elections to the State Assembly. "We will have to decide on whether or not to extend the pre-poll tactical adjustment to the logical conclusion."

He, however said the LDF State committee would have the final say on power sharing.

Meanwhile, the council hall at the municipal corporation headquarters is being refurbished for the swearing in of the newly-elected council. The hall is being given a fresh coat of paint. The chairs are being reconditioned. The audio system is being repaired. The seating in the hall will be re-arranged to accommodate the five additional members of the house.

The eldest member will be the first to sworn in on October 2. He will later administer the oath of office to the others. The senior-most member will also preside over the first meeting of the council. The election to the posts of the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor is likely to be held on October 6.

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