CPI-M loses hold over Kannur local body in Vijayan bastion

Kannur, Aug 17 (IANS) The CPI-M and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan received a setback here on Saturday when the party lost control over the Kannur Corporation.

The Congress-led opposition had moved a no-trust motion against Mayor E.P. Latha of the CPI-M. In final count, the Congress had polled 28 votes and the CPI-M 26, with one seat vacant.

Vijayan, his second in command and Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan and also Health Minister K.K. Shailaja hail from Kannur.

The victory has come as a shot in the arm for the Congress-led UDF. The Congress managed to get the vote of P.K. Ragesh, a Congress rebel, who had been supporting the CPI-M since 2015, when the local body polls were held.

The CPI-M in 2015 had offered the deputy mayorship to the Congress rebel and after four years, for the first time Ragesh voted with the Congress .

Incidentally for Vijayan, this is the second setback as in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls the CPI-M sitting MP P.K. Sreemathi lost to Congress veteran K. Sudhakaran. The Congress leader had lost to Sreemathi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Kannur district Congress president Sateeshan Pacheni said Ragesh would continue as the deputy mayor. The Congress will soon announce its mayor candidate and is expected to take over the reins of the corporation.

Meanwhile, Kannur district CPI-M secretary M.V.Jayarajan said Ragesh had no political morals and he must quit the corporation. If he did not then a no-confidence motion would be brought against him.

--IANS

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