Congress ‘I’ faction and LDF join hands for the protest
Congress councillors belonging to the ‘I’ faction and Left Democratic Front (LDF) councillors together walked out of the Kochi corporation council meeting on Friday protesting against the neglect towards Kochi in the State budget.
Leno Jacob of the Congress raised the issue when the council met for the day. Mr. Jacob was critical of the Finance Minister’s approach to Kochi. Several infrastructural projects and the Cancer hospital failed to get any budgetary support from the government. If required, the council should suspend its proceedings for a few minutes as a mark of protest, he said.
Mr. Jacob’s argument found support from the LDF councillors too. He was joined by K.J. Jacob, the CPI (M) leader in the council, and his party colleagues K.N. Sunilkumar and M. Anilkumar, who wanted the council to record its protest against the ill-treatment. They also urged the Mayor to protest against the neglect.
The ‘I’ faction members, T.J. Vinod and Ratnamma Raju, who are also the chairpersons of the Kochi Corporation, too raised the demand for recording the protest. Mr. Vinod went on to say that the projects that were to be implemented in the city as part of the preparatory works of metro railway were not implemented, leading to traffic snarls.
Though Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany told the council that the government had given consideration to the projects of Kochi, it failed to satisfy the ‘I’ faction and the Opposition councillors who staged a walkout. As the members walked out of the meeting, Mr. Chammany declared the agenda passed and ended the session. The announcement of the Mayor passing the agenda caught the LDF councillors off-guard as they were planning to debate the proposal regarding the Pachalam Rail Over Bridge at the meeting. Later, they staged a protest meeting before Mayor’s chamber asking a debate on all the topics mentioned in the agenda. Meanwhile, the LDF is planning protests against the “autocratic” “and anti-democratic” style of functioning of the Kochi Mayor.
The front will organise agitations against the policies and style of functioning of the Mayor both inside and outside the council, said Mr. Sunilkumar.