Say conduct of the urgent Council meeting denied them a chance to air the problems in their wards

Ten councillors of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam walked out of the Council meeting and staged a protest in front of the Council hall on Friday.

The councillors, led by A. Nandhakumar of Ward 52, told reporters that the conduct of the urgent meeting deprived councillors of the opportunity of airing the problems concerning their wards. Urgent meeting allowed councillors to only debate on the subjects tabled and nothing else.

Since the Council led by Mayor S.M. Velusamy took charge over a year ago, the number of urgent meetings was more than the number of ordinary meetings. Councillor Meena Loganathan, Ward 49, said that even if the Mayor were to conduct ordinary meetings, it resembled urgent meetings because he did not allow Opposition councillors to speak in a free and fair manner. The urgent meetings were worse.

Referring to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s walkout of the National Development Council (NDC) meeting in New Delhi on Thursday, Ms. Meena said that the DMK councillors’ grievance was no different from that of the Chief Minister – denial of opportunity to speak.

She also criticised the way the Council meeting was conducted. More than issues concerning the wards, the AIADMK councillors competed with one another in singing paeans on their party leader. The Council also passed such resolutions. This did not reflect the concerns of people in the city.

A little later, Congress councillors K. Maheshkumar (Ward 5), R. Gayathri (Ward 12) and M. Selvamani (Ward 89) also staged a walkout against the Council’s resolution condemning the Central Government for not giving sufficient opportunity to the Chief Minister to speak at the NDC meeting.

Later, the Mayor warned that the Council would henceforth take a serious view of councillors shouting slogans and disrupting Council proceedings. While they were free to walkout and meet the press, they had no business to disrupt the proceedings, he added.

Mr. Velusamy also said that he had convened the urgent meeting of the Council to discuss the drinking water situation as the water position in Siruvani Dam was bad. Without understanding the gravity of the situation, the Opposition councillors were trying to score political brownie points.

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