Thiruvanthapuram: Gaining power for the first time in a local body in Kerala, BJP today took control of the Palakkad municipality, a feat which the state party unit described as being the beginning of "change" in a state whose politics is dominated by Congress-led UDF and CPI-M-led LDF.
BJP's Prameela Sashidharan was elected chairperson of the municipality as she defeated UDF candidate Priya in the election that was held following the recent civic polls.
Though it failed to get a simple majority in the civic polls, BJP, with 24 members, emerged as the single-largest party in the 52-member municipal council.
The party also made inroads into several other areas in the civic polls held earlier this month.
Prameela today took oath as chairperson at a function attended, among others, by BJP state President V Muraleedharan. Fourth-time councillor Prameela said her priority was providing better infrastructure for the municipality.
"This is the beginning of change in Kerala. BJP has now come to power in Palakaad municipality and is the main opposition party in several municipalities," he told PTI.
"This shows that people in Kerala are disgusted with both the ruling UDF and opposition LDF," he said.
Palakkad, bordering Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, is considered to be the gateway to Kerala.
The civic polls saw the ruling UDF receiving a drubbing as LDF improved its tally.
However, BJP, which had failed to open its account in the Assembly and Parliament polls, made inroads in various areas, especially in Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Ernakulam, thus posing a stiff threat to both the fronts.
In the 100-member Thiruvananthapuram City corporation, BJP managed to wrest 34 seats, pushing UDF, with 21 seats, to the third position while LDF, which held the corporation for the last two decades, managed to win 42 wards, short of a simple majority.