The Mayor in-charge Leelavathi Unni had to evict DMK ccouncillor Meena Loganathan (Ward 49) and also order her suspension for three meetings.

Acrimonious scenes prevailed inside the Coimbatore Corporation Council on Wednesday, when it met for its first ordinary meeting in nearly three months, after the conduct of the 2014 General Election. AIADMK and DMK councillors confronted one another, entered into a war of words and traded charges, forcing proceedings to a standstill on two occasions.

The Mayor in-charge Leelavathi Unni had to evict DMK ccouncillor Meena Loganathan (Ward 49) and also order her suspension for three meetings.

The meeting, which also the first after the resignation of S.M. Velusamy as Mayor, had raised expectation in the public that the councillors would raise issues of importance to them.

The trouble started when AIADMK councillor V. Annammal (Ward 22) took on Ms. Loganathan, who said it was deplorable that the AIADMK, which was in a majority in the Council, that was able to convene a special sitting to praise its leader Jayalalithaa for electoral victory had not taken a similar step on the Siruvani issue– convene a special meeting to condemn Kerala Government's move to plug a pipeline that was below the dead storage level in the Siruvani Reservoir. Ms. Annammal, who was soon joined by a few women councillors from the AIADMK, retorted saying that Ms. Loganathan had no right to speak as her party had drawn a blank in the election. Things turned for the worse when men councillors from the AIADMK joined their women counterparts to gherao Ms. Loganathan. DMK councillors then rushed to Ms. Loganathan's rescue. Appeals for calm from North Zone Chairman P. Rajkumar and a few others got lost in the din. Even as the councillors from the two Dravidian parties were at each other's throat, Mayor in-charge Ms. Unni, a few councillors and also officials wanted the photo and video journalists out of the hall. Their allegation was that it was only because of the media presence that Ms. Loganathan was trying to garner the limelight by engaging in publicity-seeking stunts.

Ms. Unni said in response to a few councillors' demand that she was suspending Ms. Loganathan. But she soon had to withdraw the suspension as Mr. Rajkumar and a few other councillors said that it being the first meeting after a long gap, the councillors should start on a positive note by debating issues concerning the people. This calm did not last for long, though. After a while when Ms. Loganathan got up to raise issues concerning her ward, Ms. Unni said she could represent the same in writing. Ms. Loganathan replied that when the Corporation had not taken action for petitions she had submitted in the past, she had lost faith in submitting grievances in writing.

As Ms. Unni asked her to not to speak, Ms. Loganathan rushed to the well of the Council, once again triggering a counter-offensive from the AIADMK councillors. They too rushed to the well, gheraoed Ms. Loganathan and prevented photo and video journalists from clicking pictures and recording visuals. Ms. Unni finally had to ask the police to evict Ms. Loganathan. Other DMK councillors followed her and staged a protest outside the Council hall.

After the Council meeting, the AIADMK councillors once again protested demanding of arrest of former DMK MP M. Ramanathan and DMK Rural District Secretary M. Veeragopal, who were at the Corporation to express solidarity with the protesting councillors.

The AIADMK councillors tried to counter the DMK protest by squatting in the open. The Coimbatore City Police had a tough time controlling the AIADMK councillors. After pacifying the warring groups, they managed to safely escort the two DMK leaders. The DMK councillors also gave up the protest following a plea from Corporation Commissioner G. Latha and Deputy Commissioner S. Sivarasu, who told them it was not the place for them to protest.

Case registered

The City Police on Wednesday registered cases against several DMK members, including Meena Loganathan for the ruckus that broke out during the Council meeting.

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