Thiruvananthapuram: The CPI(M) has chosen 21-year-old Arya Rajendran as its mayoral candidate after the party's district and state committees sanctioned her candidature. She is a first-time councillor from Mudavanmugal division of Thiruvananthapuram corporation.
Arya Rajendran is a BSc Mathematics student and is the party's Chala area committee member.
She will be the youngest mayor in the country - a step in the direction of the party's goal to appoint educated women in leadership roles.
The party has won 51 seats in the 100-member council in the recently concluded local body elections. The BJP with 35 seats is the main opposition. The Congress-led UDF was relegated to the third place with 10 councillors. There are four independent councillors in the corporation.
The CPi(M) had projected former chairperson of the Health standing Committee Pushpalatha, Teachers union leader A.G. Olena and Jameela Sreedharan as their mayoral candidates. Pushplatha and Olena lost the elections, and the party chose 21-year-old Arya Rajendran over Jameela Sreedharan, who is a retired government employee.
The name of 23-year-old first time councillor from Vanchiyoor division Gayatri Babu had also come up during the discussion, but Rajendran was given the green signal as she is the state president of the "Balasangam", the party's children's wing and also the CPI(M) area committee member.
Rajendran, while speaking to media, said, "It's the decision of the party and I abide by it. During the elections, people preferred me as I am a student and the public wanted their representative to be well educated. I will continue my education and will discharge my duties as a mayor."