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UDF loses Ottappalam Municipality

News18

Updated: April 22, 2012, 11:42 AM IST
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UDF loses Ottappalam Municipality
PALAKKAD: The UDF lost power in the Ottappalam Municipality on Saturday when the CPM-sponsored no-confidence motion was passed in&..

PALAKKAD: The UDF lost power in the Ottappalam Municipality on Saturday when the CPM-sponsored no-confidence motion was passed in  the 36-member council with 21 votes. The no-trust motion against the UDF Council was brought by CPM parliamentary leader C Sreekumaran. The CPM secured 21  votes from the 24 councillors present in the council.
Three Congress rebel councillors, Selvan, Babu and Parukutty, voted in favour of the no-confidence motion. The Congress had issued a whip to its councillors to abstain from voting.   In the local body elections held 15 months ago, the UDF had wrested power in the municipality from the LDF which had ruled the municipality since it came into being 15 years ago.
In the height of the factionalism in the CPM between the V S and Pinarayi groups, six CPM rebels were elected in the last local body elections which led the LDF to lose power.  In the 36 member council, the Congress secured 7 seats, the Muslim League-4, the CPM rebels-6, the LDF-15 and the BJP-4.
The UDF came to power by joining hands with the CPM rebels. Later, the LDF was able to wean away one CPM rebel councillor Prabhala back to its fold .
This resulted in the LDF and the UDF having 16 seats each. Gradually,the CPM was able to wean away three more Congress councillors from the UDF. Three Congress councillors Jose Thomas, vice-chairman P M A Jaleel and Ramachandran, who were present in the council,  abstained from voting.
The CPM councillors took out a rally through Ottappalam town after the no-confidence motion was passed. Later, a public meeting was organised in the town  in which CPM area committee secretary K Suresh and CPM area committee member and former chairman of the municipality E Ramachandran spoke. District Congress Committee president C V Balachandran has expelled the three Congress councillors -Selvam ,Babu and Parukutty from the primary membership of  the party.
Schism in BJP
Though the BJP had issued a whip to support the no- confidence motion, only two of its four councillors- S Gangadharan and Parvathy- were present in the council on Saturday. Thus the LDF with the support of three Congress dissident councillors and two BJP councillors succeeded in securing 21 votes. No-confidence against vice-chairman: The CPM has announced that it will bring a no-confidence motion against municipality  vice-chairman P M A Jaleel on Monday.
There are chances for the Congress dissident leader Selvan to become the vice-chairman and the Development Standing committee chairperson P Subaida or Education Standing Committee chairperson M Sujatha of the CPM to become the chairman of the municipality.
Meanwhile, Municipal Chairperson Rani Jose said that the CPM has engaged in horse trading just to usurp power and she will continue  as councillor.

First Published: April 22, 2012, 11:42 AM IST
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