With results of the local bodies polls declared, 21-year-old Arya Rajendran, who represents Mudavanmukal ward in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, is set to become the newest mayor of the Kerala capital.
According to media reports, the CPI(M) district committee had a meeting on Friday following the party’s win in the recently held civic body elections, and has recommended Arya’s name as the next mayor.
Once she takes charge as the city's mayor, she will reportedly become the youngest person to hold a mayoral post anywhere in the country.
A second-year BSc Mathematics student at All Saints College, Thiruvananthapuram, Arya is a state committee member of the Students Federation of India (SFI), the students' organisation of the CPI(M). She is also the state president of Balasangam, a children’s organisation affiliated to the CPI(M).
In the recently held local body election, the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front had tasted victory in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation for the second consecutive time. The party won 51 out of the 100 wards, increasing the number of seats it won 43 in 2015 to 51 in 2020.
Arya, a CPM candidate, won from Mudavanmugal ward after defeating UDF candidate Sreekala by 2872 votes. She was the youngest candidate in the district.
In Kerala, 50 percent of seats are reserved for women in local bodies, and as per the rules, women head civic bodies alternatively. Arya will be appointed to the post of mayor as per the reservation rules.
The earlier projected mayoral women candidates were OG Oleena and S Pushpalatha. However, while Oleena was defeated from the Kunnkuzhi ward, Pushpalath was defeated in the Nedungad ward.
Jameela Sreedharan, who won from Peroorkada, and Gayathri Babu, who won from Vanchiyoor, were initially considered to be the mayor. However, the party went with the youngest candidate stating that it would send out a positive message among the masses.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)