The issue of construction of houses for the poor rocked the general body meeting of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Friday, as corporators of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Left parties staged a dharna outside the meeting hall and stalled the proceedings later accusing the ruling party of failing to construct houses as promised during the elections.

Holding miniature models of houses meant for the poor, the activists sought a detailed explanation from the officials for the inordinate delay in the construction of houses at Vambay colony and other places.

Even as the authorities sought to assure the agitated corporators that as many as 3,373 houses had been constructed in Vambay colony and of these 3,095 allotted to beneficiaries, the opposition parties demanded a detailed discussion over the issue. Floor leaders of the TDP, the CPI and the CPI (M), Y.V. Ramana Rao, Donepudi Sankar and Ch. Babu Rao, respectively, accused the ruling Congress of deceiving the poor by not keeping its promise of constructing houses for them.

As the Congress corporators refuted the charges and hit out at the Opposition alleging that not a single house was constructed in the city under the TDP regime, pandemonium broke out.

Mayor M.V. Ratna Bindu vehemently opposed the demand for a detailed discussion, sticking to her stance that no discussion could be allowed during question and answer session. She expressed ire over the opposition parties displaying the models of houses at the meeting.

A prolonged discussion also took place on the issue of naming of streets in various divisions. Even as some proposals for the same were made by the traffic and sports committee consisting of corporators of all political parties, the floor leaders of the opposition parties raised objections over the proposals citing news reports that appeared in a section of vernacular media.

Samanthapudi Narasaraju of the Congress argued that the issue of naming of streets must be left to the discretion of the local corporator, who must consider the public opinion before tabling the proposal at the general body meeting.

Ms. Ratna Bindu found fault with the officials for including a large number of proposals for changes in street names in the agenda. “It sends wrong signals to the public,” she observed.

YSR statues

The general body also discussed the proposals tabled by the Mayor, Vijayawada Central MLA Malladi Vishnu and corporator Arava Satyanarayana to install the statues of former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy at police control room, Ajit Singh Nagar and Kanakadurgamma Vaaradhi. The meeting left the decision to a committee headed by the district Collector.

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