Thiruvananthapuram, December 28
Arya Rajendran, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) councillor from Mudavanmugal in Thiruvananthapuram was sworn in as the new mayor of the city corporation. She is just 21 years old.
Arya, who is a B.Sc Mathematics second year student at the All Saints College here, told media that she will continue with her studies along with handling the responsibilities as the city’s mayor. The 21-year old becomes the youngest mayor in a major city in India.
P.K. Raju of the Communist Party of India is the deputy mayor of Thiruvananthapuram corporation.
In Kollam, Prassanna Earnest of the CPM was sworn in as the mayor, her second stint. After the swearing in she told the media that her ambition is to make Kollam the state’s best city corporation.
M. Anilkumar of the CPM was sworn in as the Mayor of Ernakulam corporation, which can be considered as the richest corporation of the state. The Left Front wrested the corporation from the United Democratic Front (UDF), and the teething issues of stagnant water after rains, congested roads, waste deployment will be a major challenge for the new Mayor. It may be noted that Ernakulam corporation had got adverse remarks from the Honourable high court of Kerala over clogging of water during rains.
In Thrissur, Left Democratic Front (LDF) and CPM sprang a surprise by swearing in the rebel Congress leader V.K. Varghese as the Mayor. Varghese, who was an Army officer, was into active Congress politics after retirement and when the party did not consider him for the seat, he contested independently and won. Varghese will be Mayor for a two-year tenure and then a CPM leader will take over for the remaining three years.
In Kozhikode, retired teacher Beena Philip of the CPM was sworn in as Mayor. She told mediapersons that she wanted to develop Kozhikode into a world class city and added that she will work in unison with all cutting across party lines to achieve this goal.
In Kannur, the lone corporation where Congress got the Mayor post, party leader T.O. Mohanan was sworn in as the Mayor. Mohanan said that he will strive to make Kannur, the handloom capital of the country. It may be noted that Kannur has the maximum number of weavers and major exports in the sector are taking place.
Rajendran is not the only young woman to lead key decisions in local bodies, but has others like Reshna Mariyam Roy and Saruthi P for company.
A A Rahim, state president of DYFI, the youth wing of the CPI(M), said youngsters taking charge in various local self-government institutions is a Left alternative and a Kerala model.
“Thousands of youngsters were part of DYFI in the election process. We have shown to the people a Left alternative, a Kerala model for the country,” Rahim said
Roy (21), a Left ward member from Pathanamthitta, will become the youngest Panchayat president in the state.
She will be the president of Aruvappulampanchayat in Pathanamthitta district after the election on December 30.
She was in the news recently as the youngest candidate in the electoral fray.
“I filed the nomination on November 18, a day before the final date of submission of nomination papers. This was because I turned 21 on that day,” she told P T I.
Roy is a BBA degree holder and aspires to continue her studies through distance education.
“The Left party has a majority in the panchayat with nine seats out of the total 15. I am the youngest member but will definitely make use of the experience of the seniors in the party for effective governance. I hope to makemine the best panchayat,” she said.
Further, the LDF has given the reins of Olavanna Grama Panchayat to a final year law student, 22-year old Saruthi, who won with a comfortable margin of 574 votes.
The LDF won 17 seats out of the total 23 in Olavanna panchayat.
“This is a huge responsibility given by the party,” Saruthi said she will have to prepare for her final semester exams starting from December 29.
Anas Rosan Stephy (23), the Left candidate who won a seat to the Pozhuthana grama Panchayat in Wayanad district is the party’s choice to head the local body.
A degree holder in Zoology from Providence College in Calicut, Stephy is from a tribal community and won from a general seat. She is currently pursuingher Masters in Disaster Management.
When contacted, Stephy was already busy with various meetings at the Panchayat where the Left Front won seven seats out of the 13.
Ittiva panchayat in Kollam district will have 23-year old Amritha at its helm.
“This is a responsibility entrusted up on me by the party,” said Amritha, a sociology degree holder, who also has a diploma from ITI.
The Left parties won 7,262 seats out of the total 15,962 in Grama Panchayat. It also bagged 1,266 seats out of the 2,080 seats in Block Panchayats. Out of the 331 seats in District Panchayat, the Left parties got 212 while it won 207 seats out of the 414 in six Corporations.