Along with Panchayat elections, Kerala will also have elections in 81 municipalities and in six corporations in the first week of November.
As per a new reservation scheme in the local body polls in the state, 52 per cent of the seats in each local body will be reserved for women. So Kochi Corporation for the second time will have a woman mayor.
When all other political fronts are devising tactics to take over the reigns in Kochi, the Congress seems to be in a bind deciding which of its female candidates to project for the Mayor’s post almost suggesting that its victory is a foregone conclusion.
The names doing the rounds are:
Padmaja Venugopal, former Chief Minister K Karunakaran’s daughter said that if the party asks her to contest she will be doing it willfully and expressed her hope by saying that the party will not neglect its leader’s (K Karunakaran) daughter.
Padmaja is now General Secretary of KPCC Executive Committee and was party in-charge of Thrissur district. The major advantage for Padmaja will be the support she enjoys from both the ‘I’ and ‘A’ groups of the party.
“If the party asks I am ready to contest from Ernakulam. I have heard that the party might select me as the mayor for Kochi,” she told media.
Another prominent name in the fray is Lali Vincent, KPCC vice president, who has also earlier claimed that unofficial meetings were held inside the party on appointing her as the mayor if she wins the elections.
There were also talks inside the party that since Lali Vincent is KPCC vice president, she may not face opposition from other members in contesting the elections.
Lali, who has held many positions in the party including INTUC national general secretary’s post, has support from both factions of the party. Since she belongs to a Latin Catholic community, which has a majority in Kochi, it reportedly increases her chances of winning.
Bhadra Satish and Soumini Jain
Media reports suggest that Bhadra Satish and Works Standing Committee chairperson Soumini Jain are also likely to be elected to the Mayor’s post.