When a party or a front gets a majority in a grama panchayat, the perception is that its selected member will become the president. Not so in the Kanchiyar grama panchayat in Idukki district. Here, the lone elected National Democratic Alliance (NDA) member will become the president, though the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has got an absolute majority in the local body elections.
Out of the 16 seats, the LDF got nine, United Democratic Front (UDF) six, and NDA one. The president’s post is reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SCs). Suresh Kuzhikattu of the NDA won from Ward 8 reserved for the SCs. He got 88 votes more than his immediate rival, a UDF candidate, who got 300 votes. The LDF candidate got less than 200 votes.
Mr. Kuzhikattu said he would strive to bring in Central funds for the development of the panchayat. “As president I will strive to develop the entire panchayat. An elected member must not be partial. I will cooperate with all members and cater to everyone in the panchayat,” he said.
When a post is reserved for a particular community, only an elected person belonging to that community can hold the post. When a seat is reserved, only those belonging to the reserved category can contest from there.
However, there is one option for the majority party. It can ask a candidate elected from a general seat to resign and field one from the reserved category there. If elected, that person can hold the post.
In Upputhara too
In the Upputhara grama panchayat, the UDF got the majority but an LDF member, James K. Joseph, who won from Ward 7, will become the president. He defeated the UDF candidate by 40 votes.
The ward was reserved for the Scheduled Tribe community. The UDF has nine seats and the LDF eight in the 17-seat panchayat.