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About a month after its chairperson was ousted through a no confidence motion, the United Democratic Front (UDF) on Monday returned to power in the Erattupetta municipality.

In the election held on the day, former chairperson Suhra Abdul Khader received 14 votes, including that of a UDF rebel, while Nazeera Subair of the Social Democratic Party of India got five votes. The Left Democratic Front, which has nine members in the 28-member council, did not field a candidate and abstained from voting in line with its earlier decision.

The proceedings began with the 13 UDF councillors entering the municipal council hall by 10.45 a.m., followed by the five SDPI councillors. Ansalana Pareekutty, the UDF rebel who had voted in favour of the no-trust motion last month, reached the venue later. She, however, voted in favour Ms. Khader this time.

‘Decline LDF’

Following the election, the UDF workers took out a victory march in the town. Speaking on the occasion, municipal vice chairperson and Congress leader Muhammad Ilyas said the election marked the LDF’s decline in Erattupetta.

Kottayam District Congress Committee president Nattakom Suresh, IUML district president Asees Badayil and UDF district committee chairman Saji Manjakadambil were present.

According to sources, the LDF had earlier planned to field Ms. Pareekkutty, the Congress rebel as the chairperson candidate. It, however, was forced to drop the plan in the face of allegations raised by the UDF of an unholy nexus between the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] and the SDPI.

The no-confidence motion against Ms. Khader, moved early last month, had been passed by a majority of one vote with 15 members, including five members of the SDPI, supporting it.