Poll vault: UDF votes for BJP, stalemate in Palakkad ends

via Pioneer News Service | Palakkad published on July 12, 2006

A stunning political somersault by the Congress-led United Democratic Front in the Palakkad Municipal Council has helped end the administrative impasse that has been so far been in existence in the civic body council to some extent. The Congress act of not opposing the BJP despite its earlier statements helped the smooth election to the posts of chairpersons of the various standing committees of the council.

C Krishnakumar (public welfare), N Sivarajan (health and education), KK Kajahussain (development) and A Asis (public works) were elected as chairmen of the standing committees. The first two are from BJP and others from the UDF. The UDF reversed its stand on all issues not to field any candidate against the BJP nominees.

The BJP also reciprocated whole-heartedly to the UDF by not fielding their candidates to the two posts. The CPI(M) contested in all seats but got defeated. Municipal vice-chairman SR Balasubrahmanyan of the BJP, who is functioning as acting chairman under directions from the court, automatically became chairman of the finance standing committee as per the Municipalities Act. Thus the BJP has bagged three standing committee chairmanships and the UDF two. The lone councillor of the DIC(K) voted for the UDF candidates.

In the 50-member Palakkad Municipal Council, the UDF has 18 members including one DIC(K) member. The BJP has 17 and the CPI(M) has 15 members.

The CPI(M) will now say that it was always against the BJP, a claim the UDF would not be able to make anymore. The CPI(M) candidate was twice elected chairman of the Palakkad Municipal Council but did not assume office saying that the party did not want to head the council with support from the BJP and UDF. But during elections to the post of vice-chairman, the CPI(M) had made two of their votes invalid and paved the way for the BJP’s nominee winning the post.

The stand taken by the UDF councillors during the standing committee chairmen elections has become subject of intense political discussion in the municipality.

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