KOCHI: The ruling Left front of the Kochi corporation were in for a shock on Tuesday when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took pole position in the race for majority in the tax appeal committee.The saffron party sprang yet another surprise when it extended support to the UDF’s Muslim League and RSP, and Welfare Party in the elections held for women’s reservation seats. In another jolt to the Left, the UDF wrested the works standing committee after the vote of the LDF’s M H M Ashraf became invalid.
While the BJP has the support of as many as four in the nine-member tax appeal committee ahead of the January 18 election, the UDF has two and the LDF one.
Though the BJP’s Sudha Dileep Kumar was elected a member of education and sports committee initially, she tendered her resignation intending to join the tax appeal committee.
It will take the BJP’s strength in the committee to five.Asked about the surprise move, Sudha said: “We decided to support the UDF’s woman councillors based on the BJP leadership’s direction.”
While Opposition leader Antony Kureethara said neither the party nor the members sought the support of the BJP, the LDF is already planning to use the development in the corporation as a tool during the assembly election campaigning. “This nexus will affect the UDF in the assembly election. Their real face has come to the fore,” said Mayor M Anilkumar.The UDF, which has only 32 representatives, increased it to 37 with the support of five BJP councillors in the standing committee election.
With the independent candidate, who had abstained from the elections of mayor and deputy mayor, extending his support to the LDF, their strength increased from 36 to 37. With both the UDF and LDF bagging 37 votes each, four standing committees were decided on draw of lots. Luck favoured three from the LDF and one from the UDF.
strength in committees
Total 10 members in finance standing committee and nine members in other committees
Tax and appeal
Education and sports
Election to fill the vacant seats will be held on Jan 18
Standing committee chairpersons will be elected a week after election of members