A total of 1,512 people who had been elected to the three-tier local bodies in Kottayam took the oath of office on Monday.
In a function held at the District Panchayat Hall, District Collector M. Anjana administered the oath of office to Radha V. Nair , the senior-most member in the upcoming district panchayat. Later, Ms. Nair administered the pledge to the remaining 21 members.
Nibu John, member from Puthuppally division who is in quarantine, attended the function in protective gear and was sworn in after other members left the hall. Additional District Magistrate Anil Oommen was also present .
In the municipalities, Mollikutty Sebastian (Kottayam), K.R. Prakash (Changanassery) V.S. Viswanathan (Ettumanur), Jose Edayath (Pala), P.M. Abdul Qadir (Erattupetta), B. Chandrasekharan (Vaikom) were the first to take the oath.
The election of presidents and vice-presidents in the municipalities and the three-tier panchayats will be held on December 28 and December 30 respectively.
Meanwhile, the swearing-in ceremony at the Kottayam municipality witnessed some tense moments after a BJP member, K.Shankaran representing Ward 41, took the oath in Sanskrit.
LDF members soon protested, demanding that the member take the oath either in Malayalam or translate the oath to Malayalam. The issue, however, was settled by the intervention of the presiding officer, who said the oath could be taken in any language as recognised by the Constitution of India.
This was followed by another controversy over a CPI(M) councillor, Sheeja Anil, allegedly taking the oath in a wrong way. Though the United Democratic Front and the National Democratic Alliance members raised the issue, the presiding officer intervened once again to settle the issue.