BJP accuses Congress of forming committees in wards outside their jurisdiction

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors exchanged heated words at the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC) general body meeting on Tuesday. At the first meeting of the council after the Congress came to power in the CMC, opposition leaders accused the party of forming committees in wards outside their jurisdiction. BJP leader M.R. Pai said that the committees were illegal and infringed on the powers of BJP councillors.

Mr. Pai read a government circular, which he claimed, did not allow for such committees.

Intervening, Congress MLA Pramod Madhwaraj said that the circular read by Mr. Pai spoke about spouses of councillors interfering in their work.

This was not clearly the case with the Congress committees, which would work only for the people. They would not be infringing upon the powers of the councillors, he said. This led to a verbal duel between Congress and BJP councillors.

Mr. Madhwaraj said they were essential in cases where councillors failed to address public complaints. Congress councillor Ramesh Kanchan cited the example of Mr. Pai’s ward where an issue of non-functional street lamps was ignored.

Standing the ground

In response, Mr. Pai said he had followed protocol by brining the matter to the CMC president P. Yuvaraj’s notice.This led to another round of war of words between the councillors of both sides.

At the end of it, both Mr. Madhwaraj and Mr. Pai stuck to their respective stands.

Mr. Kanchan went on to raise the issue of expenditure of Rs. 5 crore on the renovation of Town Hall by the previous BJP council. He said the huge amount spent for renovation raised suspicion and the matter must be probed.

BJP representative Dinakar Shetty explained that the renovations were made after the requisite clearances were obtained.

Mr. Madhwaraj backed Mr. Kanchan and said that the CMC should approach the Lokayukta and get the renovation issue probed. At this, some BJP members sarcastically said: “Order a CBI probe into it”.

Other BJP representatives highlighted the problems with garbage collection and disposal that they claim had disrupted daily lives in several areas.

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