Pandemonium prevailed for several minutes in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council on Monday with battle lines drawn over renaming a road after Kannada poet S.K. Karim Khan.
The issue created a furore as Opposition Party (Congress) councillors stormed the well demanding an explanation into the inordinate delay in renaming a prominent road in Indiranagar. This was after the BBMP council approved several other proposals to rename roads after some renowned personalities.
D.J. Halli councillor Sampath Raj demanded to know why the BBMP was yet to name the road after the poet, even though the council had passed the resolution in this regard two years ago. “Are you delaying it because he belonged to a minority community?” he said.
The ruling party (BJP) councillors objected to this and they too stormed the well protesting against Mr. Sampath Raj’s statement. Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana, who looked visibly irritated with the statement, threatened to suspend the councillor for making “communal statements”. While the BJP councillors urged the Mayor to suspend the councillor, former Opposition Leader M. Udayshankar said the Mayor could not threaten the councillors.
Finally agreeing to Opposition leader B.N. Manjunath Reddy’s suggestion, he said a date would be fixed soon after a joint meeting. “We have immense respect for Karim Khan, who used to live in Basavanagudi. I have personally met him several times. We will fix a date for the road naming ceremony soon,” he assured the councillors.
Quarters for pourakarmikas
Sarvagnanagar councillor G. Bhuvaneshwari sought to know the status of the proposal to rebuild the pourakarmikas’ quarters in her ward. The quarters were in a dilapidated condition and the proposal to reconstruct the same has been pending for years now. “I do not know why the work is being stalled. I am facing a lot of discrimination... maybe because I am a woman or that I represent a ward reserved for Scheduled Castes,” she charged.
She found support in the Opposition Leader, who demanded a response from Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan. Responding to this, Mr. Lakshminarayan said the quarters are in a prime locality abutting Old Madras Road. “Currently, the structure is ground and two floors. We had proposed to construct similar quarters. However, the residents want individual homes. By constructing quarters, we will be utilising the prime space optimally. The proposal will soon come before the council. Whatever decision the council takes, we will abide by it,” he said.