LDF wrests power in Varkala

Two Independent candidates support front in polls

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) wrested control of the Varkala municipality with the support of two Independent councillors, one of whom was rewarded with the post of vice-chairperson on Monday.

K.M. Laji, who won from the Teachers Colony ward, was elected chairman after he secured 14 votes against National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s councillor R. Anil Kumar who won 11 votes. All seven councillors of the United Democratic Front (UDF) abstained from voting.

Following a stiff electoral battle recently, the LDF and the NDA had won 12 and 11 seats respectively, making the political choice adopted by the three Independents decisive in identifying the ruling front. On Monday, Independent councillors Kumari Sudarshini and Amina Aliyar voted in favour of the LDF and enabled the front to extend rule in the Varkala municipality. The third Independent councillor N. Sreyas abstained from the voting process.

Hours later, Ms. Sudarshini who had contested as a Congress rebel candidate also secured 14 votes to defeat NDA’s Priya Gopan to become the vice-chairperson.

Mr. Laji, a former president of the Varkala block panchayat, is currently a member of the CPI(M) Varkala area committee. After being sworn in as chairman, he listed his priority areas that included steps to enhance educational and health-care facilities in the Varkala town.

Drinking water supply

He also pledged the local body’s efforts in addressing the inadequate drinking water supply from the Vamanapuram river.

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