The political temperature in the City Corporation ran high on Monday following heated exchanges involving the Mayor and the Opposition LDF and a subsequent confrontation between the ruling front councillors and a section of municipal employees.
The acrimonious exchanges followed a conciliatory meeting convened by the Mayor to settle a dispute between the Nemom ward councillor M.S. Sudha and the Health Inspector (HI). According to the UDF, Ms. Sudha had approached the HI with a request to clean up a pond near the Thaliyadichapuram temple in her constituency. She later moved Mayor K. Chandrika with a complaint of misbehaviour against the HI who returned the charge.
UDF council party leader Johnson Joseph alleged that the Mayor had made disparaging remarks against the UDF councillor in the presence of the HI. “The UDF members who registered their protest were intimidated by a section of employees. The Mayor behaved in an irresponsible manner, unbecoming of her position,” he said.
Complaining of a raw deal meted out to its elected representatives, the UDF council party threatened to launch an agitation.
The Mayor said the HI had informed the councillor that the pond could not be cleaned up by the Corporation because it was a private property. “The HI said he was summoned to the site and insulted by the councillor and her party men. At a meeting I convened in my chamber today, I promised to look into the demand to clean up the pond. I had left my room after settling the dispute when another batch of UDF members barged in and created a ruckus. This led to a confrontation with the employees,” she said.
The Mayor accused the UDF of using strong arm tactics to disrupt the functioning of the Corporation office. “Today's issue was politically motivated,” she said.
The issue has strained the uneasy relationship between the ruling and Opposition fronts in the Corporation Council ever since the last elections when the UDF made significant inroads into the LDF bastions.