A Anandavalli was elected on a Communist Party of India (Marxist) ticket in the recently concluded local body election and elevated to the post of block on Wednesday.

INDIA Updated: Dec 30, 2020,

Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram

For almost 10 years she had swept floors and dusted chairs at the panchayat office but on Wednesday A Anandavalli (46) occupied the chair of the block panchayat president in Pathanapuram in south Kerala’s Kollam district.

She was elected on a Communist Party of India (Marxist) ticket in the recently concluded local body election and elevated to the post of block president on Wednesday. The was working at the same panchayat office as a part-time sweeper for about a decade. The stunning change of fortune is yet to sink in.

“Only my party can do such things. I am really indebted to it,” she said, unable to control her tears when she was escorted to the block president’s seat.

Anandavalli who dropped out of school, hails from a family of Marxist supporters. Her husband, a painter by profession, is also an active CPI (M) worker. She joined as a part-time sweeper in 2011 and her salary was Rs 2,000 a month, but she was now drawing a salary of Rs 6,000. After taking up the new assignment, she resigned from the temporary post.

“I was a bit nervous. But my party leaders and well wishers prodded me to take up the new responsibility. I will do my best to make by block panchayat a role model,” she said. She won the recent local body election from Thalavoor division by 654 votes. “My responsibility is heavy now. I will work hard to make life better for all people in my block,” she said.

But her success as a woman is not the only exception for the Marxists in the recent local body elections. A 21-year-old student Arya Rajendran was made the Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. And four other were also given new responsibilities.

Twenty two-year-old law student Saruthi, who loves to ride motorcycles, has become the president of Olavanna panchayat in Kozhikode district. Reshma Mariam Joy, 21 was elected president of Aruvapualm panchayat in Pathanamthitta, Radhika Mahadeven (23) became the president of Malampuzha local body in Palakkad and Anas Stephi, president of Pozhuthana panchayat in Wayanad district.

Reeling under many charges and allegations of corruption, the party gave tickets to many youngsters this time to beat incumbency and odds stacked against it and many emerged victorious.

Many members of Kudumbhasree, a successful self-help group of women, have also been elected to local bodies. More than 7,000 candidates who emerged victorious are Kudumbhasree members.

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