They want to bring the issue to the notice of Kiran Kumar Reddy

Municipal Commissioner Md. Abdul Azeem’s honeymoon in the council with elected representatives in the city seems to have come to an end. The city MLAs are unhappy over his work style and contemplate taking up the matter with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy soon.

The Municipal Commissioner’s recent circular issued to the corporation officials that they should not meet public representatives without his permission or from their department head. The MLAs, who were on regular field visit in their constituency, were aghast to know that the engineers were hesitating to take part in the inspections and visits along with them.

The engineers told the public representatives that they had to take permission from their higher ups if they were to participate in their programmes. “We insisted to post him (Mr. Azeem) here, though the Chief Minister was reluctant, with a view that he would develop the city. Now, he was issuing all absurd orders. The matter would be taken up with the Chief Minister,” said an MLA, who did not want to be quoted. Before that the issue would be discussed with Secondary Education Minister Kolusu Parthasarathy and district in-chage Minister Thota Narasimham, he said.

The famous statement, “First they came for communists and I did not speak as I was not a communist…” is rightly applicable to the public representatives, admits another MLA. “Had we reacted to the first circular that the officials should not speak to media, the Commissioner would not have trained his guns on us,” he said.

YSR Congress leader P. Gowtham Reddy expressed the view that the Commissioner has no powers to issue orders that officials (heads of the department) should not speak to media. It was against the service rules. Likewise, the officials were bound to answer the problems brought to their notice by the public representatives, he said.

Communist Party of India (M) city secretary Ch. Babu Rao expressed the view that both circulars were undemocratic. With these circulars, the people lost an opportunity to bring their problems to the notice of the corporation, he said.

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