Avinissery panchayat remains headless

The power crisis in the Avinissery grama panchayat continues as the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has decided not to assume power in the local body with the support of the United Democratic Front (UDF).

LDF candidates won to the post of president and vice-president in the elections held on Wednesday with the UDF members voting in their favour. LDF’s A.R. Raju was elected president and Indira Jayakumar vice president.

In the 14-member panchayat, the National Democratic Alliance has six seats, LDF five and the UDF three seats.

Mr. Raju defeated Bharatiya Janata Party’s Hari C. Narendran. All the three Congress members voted in favour of Raju. In the election to the post of vice president, Indira Jayakumar defeated Geetha Sukumaran of the BJP.

However, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] leadership directed them to resign from the posts. “We do not want to take power with the support of the Congress. We have taken this stand earlier also,” said CPI(M) district secretary M.M. Varghese.

A.R. Raju was selected to elected president soon after the local body election, then too with the support of the Congress. Even then the CPI(M) leadership decided against accepting Congress support.

Avinissery was the only grama panchayat in the district where the BJP was in power after the previous local body election. But the party failed to get an absolute majority this time.

In the current situation, development standing committee chairperson Soorya Shobi of the BJP will continue as temporary president.

Criticising the LDF stand, District Congress Committee president M.P. Vincent said the CPI(M)’s decision would help the BJP to reach power. “The Congress supported the LDF to prevent the BJP from coming to power. It was a stand taken locally,” he said.

Responding to the developments, BJP district president K.K. Aneesh Kumar said the CPI(M) -Congress alliance in the Avinissery panchayat was a trial run before the Assembly election. It was an attempt to scuttle the people’s verdict, he said.

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