Parties scout for candidates for reserved seats

Both CPI(M) and Congress keen on fielding fresh candidates

With the posts of Kozhikode Mayor and Kozhikode District Panchayat President reserved for women this time, mainstream political parties are bracing for new challenges in the selection of candidates for the upcoming three-tier local body polls.

Both the CPI(M) and the Congress have been scouting for fresh candidates to contest, especially in the prestigious Kozhikode Corporation. The Left parties, which have been governing the civic body for the last 45 years, is determined to retain power.

Nevertheless, the CPI(M) leadership is facing an uphill task, a similar situation as in the 1995 polls when the post of Mayor was reserved for women. However, the party was then able to rope in Prof. A.K. Premajam, who then retired as principal of Government Arts College, Kozhikode. She held the office only till 1998.

Prof. Premajam was chosen to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Vadakara in 1998 and again in 1999. Her replacement was M.M. Padmavathi. Later, Prof. Premajam returned as Mayor in 2010 and completed a full term. M.K. Nalini, wife of T.P. Ramakrishnan, and Kannathil Jameela had held the post of the District Panchayat President when it was reserved for women earlier.

At the same time, the Congress-Indian Union Muslim League combine is also chalking out a strategy to field existing councillors who have some experience in council affairs. The Congress wants to renominate Vidya Balakrishnan, who won from the Chevayur division.

Likewise, the posts of chairperson of Koyilandy, Vadakara, and Ramanattukkara, out of the seven municipalities in the district, are reserved for women. The post of Mukkom Municipal chairman has been reserved for the Scheduled Caste.

The posts of president of 35 out of 70 grama panchayats in Kozhikode have been reserved for women. The post in Kuruvattoor, Karassery, and Kadalundi have been reserved for women from the Scheduled Caste community and that in Cheruvannur, Changaroth, and Madavoor has been reserved for the SC community.

The posts of president of Vadakara, Thooneri, Kunnammel, Thodanoor and Kozhikode block panchayats have been reserved for women, while Balaussery has been reserved for women from the SC. The district has 12 block panchayats.

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