The use of a phrase by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) floor leader Y.V. Ramana Rao, which was strongly objected to by Mayor M.V. Ratna Bindu and her predecessors Mallika Begum and Tadi Sakuntala, created a ruckus on the second day of the general body meeting of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Saturday. The Mayor initially announced the suspension of Mr. Ramana Rao from the meeting, but later withdrew her decision when he said that he was taking back his words.
The incident took place during a prolonged discussion on the issue of opening tailoring training centres for women in all the divisions. Floor leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI) Donepudi Sankar expressed unhappiness over the inordinate delay in opening the centres, observing that the last three Mayors, despite being women, failed to provide the facility for the women of the city. Ms. Ratna Bindu, Ms. Begum and Ms. Sakuntala took a serious objection to the remarks. Even as Ms. Sakuntala got ready to give a reply, S. Narasaraju of the Congress intervened and asserted that the city witnessed development at an unexpected level during the regime of women Mayors during the last four years and more. When he said, indirectly referring to TDP Mayor Panchumarthy Anuradha's regime, that the Mayor of the last term could not do anything for the city, Mr. Ramana Rao raised an objection and said that “shadow Mayors are ruling the roost now.” This led to a pandemonium in the hall.
A visibly perturbed Ms. Ratna Bindu started speaking on top of her voice demanding Mr. Ramana Rao to apologise for using an “un-parliamentary” phrase. Ms. Begum and Ms. Sakuntala joined Ms. Ratna Bindu and lashed out at Mr. Ramana Rao. Ms. Ratna Bindu lost no time in announcing the suspension of Mr. Ramana Rao from the meeting till the lunch break and asked him to go out.
Refusing to leave the hall, the TDP Floor leader sought an opportunity to explain his version. Corporators of the TDP and the Left parties came to the rescue of Mr. Ramana Rao, with Mr. Sankar making a futile attempt at interpreting the remark and explaining to the Mayor that the TDP leader's intention was not to “dishonour” the Chair.
The Congress corporators and those of the Opposition soon got divided into two groups and entered into a wordy duel, which continued for about half-an-hour. The issue came to an end only when Mr. Ramana Rao announced that he was withdrawing his remarks.