Twenty one-year-old Arya Rajendran will be the next Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, making her the youngest ever to occupy the post in the country. The ruling CPI(M) on Sunday officially declared Rajendran will be the party-led Left Democratic Front's mayoral candidate in the election to the post to be held on Monday.
"The party district committee has decided to field S Arya Rajendran as the mayor candidate on behalf of the LDF and Suresh Kumar as the District panchayat president of Thiruvananthapuram," it said in a statement. In the recent civic polls, the LDF has won 51 wards in the 100-member prestigious corporation of the Kerala capital.
The opposition UDF bagged ten, the BJP 34 and others won five wards. On her electoral debut, Rajendran, a second year Bsc Maths student of the All Saints College here, won from the Mudavanmugal ward, defeating her nearest Congress rival by a margin of 549 votes.
It was also the first time she could cast her vote in the local body election due to her age. Rajendran is a state committee member of the Students Federation of India (SFI) and also the state president of Balasangam, the children's wing of the Left party.
She has said as a Mayor, her top priority would be on waste management in the city. "Our city is beautiful. To keep it like this, it should be free of waste. Besides a scientific waste management system, a thorough awareness is needed among people not to dump waste in waysides" Rajendran had told the media earlier.
The CPI(M) in its twitter handle said she will be the youngest mayor of a major city in the world. She is the daughter of CPI(M) activist K Rajendran, an electrician by profession, and Sreelatha, an LIC agent.
As per available details, the youngest mayor in the country until now was Sabitha Begum who had headed the Kollam Corporation at the age of 23. In 2006, the then DMK regime in Tamil Nadu had made 24- year-old Rekha Priyadharshini as the Mayor of Salem.
Senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had become the mayor of Nagpur Municipal Corporation at the age of 27. Several users of social media posted congratulatory messages hailing Rajendran as she is set to become the youngest mayor in the country.
An ardent fan of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in politics and superstar Mohanlal in cinema, the Mayoral candidate has also said she wants to continue her studies as much as she can. Mohanlal, who happens to be her neighbour at Mudavanmugal, has called up her and congratulated on her victory.