In a day of high political drama, LDF lost power at Maranalloor grama panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram district. JSS (independent) A L Sanal Kumar backed by BJP and Congress got elected as the new president.
CPM’s Erathavur Chandran’s vote became invalid while another CPM ward member K Rajendran kept away from voting. A group of CPM workers attacked the house of Rajendran immediately after the election.
The CPM had 7 members and CPI 3 members in the 21-member panchayat. The election was necessitated by the resignation of Erathavur Chandran of the CPM from the president’s post as per the understanding to hand over the president’s post to CPI. As per the understanding reached in the LDF, after the completion of the first two years, CPM and CPI had to swap the president and vice-president’s post for the rest of the five-year tenure.
Following this, the president and vice-president had resigned to facilitate the election.
When the election was held on Monday, former president Erathavur Chandran of the CPM made his vote invalid. K Rajendran who got admitted to a hospital to abstain from voting claimed that he was trying to save the CPM from clutches of money powers who are taking control of the party here. Sanal Kumar, the JSS Independent, got the backing of six BJP members and three Congress members.
Alleging sabotaging of the election result CPM district committee expelled both Eravathur Chandran and Rajendran. As tension mounted in Maranalloor town, a large number of police personnel were deployed to avert untoward incidents. Police provided security to allow Eravathur Chandran to go home after he was blocked at the Panchayat office.
CPM area leadership alleged that Erathavur Chandran consciously sabotaged the election result after taking bribes from BJP.
CPI district secretary Venjarammoodu Sasi said in a statement that the disgraceful relationship between the BJP and the Congress had come to the fore in the election to the president’s post.
He said that the Congress which had been claiming to be a secular party has participated in a heinous act disgraceful to democracy. He alleged that Minister V S Sivakumar and the Congress leadership had promised lakhs of rupees and job to the panchayat members to defect in favour of the UDF camp.