Mayor B. Kartika Reddy and GHMC Commissioner Sameer Sharma took their battle to the Secretariat on Thursday.
Accompanied by floor leaders, except Majlis, Ms. Reddy met Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and took strong objection to Mr. Sharma walking out of the council meeting along with senior officials during a debate on fixing responsibility for illegal buildings.
The delegation also met Municipal Administration Minister M. Maheedhar Reddy.
Mr. Sharma too met the Minister to give his version of events even as GHMC unions expressing solidarity began a pen down strike demanding an apology from the Mayor.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Sharma stormed out when Telugu Desam (TD) corporator D. Sobhanadri accused him of being selective in acting against unauthorised constructions and wondered why Town Planning officials should not be penalised 400 per cent to 600 per cent for “allowing five-storied structures to come up.”
“The Commissioner has no faith in the Constitution or the Council. We do not want him,” he said. Mr. Sharma got up in anger: “He's a builder. I cannot be a party to this humiliation. I am not going to listen to this. I am going,” he said.
Stunned, the Mayor too retired to her chambers amid slogans of “Commissioner down, down” by TD, BJP and Congress members. Hectic parleys among floor leaders led to Ms. Reddy returning and allowing members to vent to their anger against Mr. Sharma.
“The Commissioner has belittled us when we were only raising issues affecting the people. He should go as he has been consistently ignoring the standing committee and the council. He thinks corporators are corrupt,” thundered TD floor leader Singireddy Srinivas Reddy. “His attitude is not good, he is acting like a monarch,” said BJP floor leader B. Prakash.
Congress floor leader K. Venkatesh felt the “walkout” was pre-planned and accused Mr. Sharma of being indifferent to members.
However, Majlis MLA Ahmed Bin Balala urged the Commissioner to return as “mud-slinging” between officials and members were not good.
When Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Secretary M.S.S. Somaraju informed the Mayor that the Act was “silent” on whether action could be taken against the Commissioner, she announced that all questions were deemed to be answered and “I leave it to the government to deal with the Commissioner”.
Keywords: Telugu Desam Party