Unruly scenes were witnessed in the Angamaly municipal council on Tuesday during the debate on the budget when eight ruling councillors of the United Democratic Front (UDF) owing allegiance to the Congress ‘I’ faction and 12 opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) councillors initially gheraoed Municipal Chairman C.K. Varghese and later the Municipal Secretary and the staff, forcing the intervention of the police.
Discontent has been brewing ever since the budget prepared by Municipal Secretary M.C. John with the approval of the Chairman, who belongs to the ‘A’ faction, was presented in the council on Monday. On Tuesday, when the budget was taken up for debate, eight ‘I’ faction councillors and 12 opposition councillors demanded amendments to the budget in writing. In the 30-member house, the ruling UDF has 18 councillors.
Responding to the debate, the Chairman said that while some of the amendments can be accepted, not all of them could be incorporated for lack of funds and declared the budget as passed.
When the Chairman left the chair after the declaration, the councillors who demanded the amendments blocked him from leaving the council hall.
The police, who were camping in the area, got the Chairman released and escorted him to his chamber.
Then the protesting councillors turned their ire towards the Municipal Secretary and the staff and detained them demanding the return of the Chairman.