As many as 1,042 people who had been elected members of the three-tier local bodies in Pathanamthitta took the oath of office on Monday.
In a function held at the District Collectorate in the morning, District Collector P.B. Noohu administered the oath of office to Omallur Shankaran, the senior-most member in the upcoming district panchayat. Later, Mr.Shankaran administered the pledge to the remaining 15 members.
After the swearing-in ceremony, the first meeting of the newly elected members was held at the panchayat conference hall. The 67-year-old Shankaran, as senior member of the panchayat, chaired the meeting.
The president and vice-president of the new district panchayat will be elected on December 30.
The elected representatives to the remaining local bodies including the four municipalities, eight block panchayats and 53 grama panchayats of the district were sworn in before the respective presiding officers.
Meanwhile, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) moved closer to capturing power in the Pathanamthitta municipality with one of the three Independent councillors here deciding to extend his support to the Left coalition.
Soon after swearing in, Independent councillor K. R. Ajithkumar announced his decision to support the LDF. According to sources, one more Independent, Indiramaniyamma, is expected to follow Mr.Ajith Kumar and is most likely to be appointed as municipal vice chairperson for a year.
With the support of two Independents, the LDF’s strength in the 32-member council will rise to 15 seats against the 13 seats won by the United Democratic Front. The Social Democratic Party of India has won three seats.