KOCHI: In two of the most important suburban municipalities in the district, Independents will be deciding as to who would form the council. In Maradu and Thrikkakara, where the UDF had secured majority in the previous election, no Front has absolute majority this time.
In Maradu, the UDF and the LDF won 15 seats each in the 33-member council. Among the remaining three members, two are Congress rebels and the other an Independent. According to Congress leader and former municipal chairman T K Devarajan, all the three Independents have offered unconditional support to the UDF.
“Jabbar Pappana and Boban Nedumparampil, the two Congress workers who earlier held leadership positions in the party, have offered support. Divya Anilkumar, who was elected from Nettoor South, has also offered support,” said Devarajan.
The UDF would have easily won here, had the rebels not contested against party candidates. The UDF faced the threat of rebels in at least six division.
In the previous election, the UDF had absolute majority with 23 seats in the municipality, which is a hub of commercial activity including hospitality, tourism and automobile businesses. Maradu is one of the richest local bodies in Kerala, with around `3 crore annual income by way of property tax from businesses.
Meanwhile, the LDF leaders also claimed to have ensured support of Independents. “We have secured the support of two members, which they will announce at a press conference on Tuesday,” said LDF leader and former panchayat president K A Devassy.
In the Thrikkakara municipality, both the LDF and the UDF are in the process of canvassing the two rebel candidates for forming the new council.
The decision as to who would make it to the ruling benches rests in the hands of the two rebels. The UDF is just one seat short of majority, while the LDF needs two more seats . The UDF won 21 seats and the LDF bagged 20 seats in the 43-member council.
M M Nasar and Sabu Francis, rebel candidates of the LDF and the UDF, respectively, are the deciding factors in the municipality.