Mayor terms Opposition allegations as baseless
A no-confidence motion moved by the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) against Mayor A.K. Premajam was rejected by the council by 41 votes against 33.
One Opposition member was absent. In the four-hour Council meeting, presided over by District Collector C.A. Latha on Tuesday, the voting by the 74 councillors was along expected lines.
The notice for no-confidence followed the Mayor’s refusal to act against two councillors accused of manhandling Leader of the Opposition in the Council M.T. Padma and Deputy Leader K. Mohammed Ali during a Council meeting on May 28. But in the debate that preceded the voting, Opposition councillors could not put any pressure on the ruling CPI(M).
The apparent lack of planning saw councillors speaking for the motion raising various issues against the Mayor. The arguments ranged from the absence of streetlights to the death of a woman who fell into an open drain.
P. Kishenchand of the SJ(D) alleged that development works were being stalled in wards represented by Opposition councillors.
“No work has taken place in my ward. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor should provide an answer on what is happening to all the projects laid out in the annual Plans,”Mr. Kishenchand said. K. Mohammed Ali of the IUML said the Mayor was of the notion that her party would support her in all situations. He said the motion was moved not with the intention to oust the Mayor. Rather, it was an expression of the anguish of the Opposition, he added. K.T. Beeran Koya of the IUML alleged that no action had been taken on many calling attention motions. Not even the councillors who raised the issues were following it up.
The ruling CPI(M) centred its arguments around the Municipal Act of 1994 and the Opposition’s apparent ‘lack of knowledge of its intricacies.’
M. Radhakrishnan of the CPI(M) took a dig at the Opposition by stating that they now knew how to move a no-confidence motion after several attempts.
“The Opposition thrice moved adjournment motions in the past two years demanding the resignation of the Mayor without realising that it has to be done through a no-confidence motion. With regard to the calling attention motions by Opposition, the content of most of them do not match the subject that is stated,” Mr. Radhakrishnan said.
Deputy Mayor P.T. Abdul Latheef said it was unfortunate that the Council had to discuss a no-confidence motion which lacked any proper content. It reflected a ‘poverty of issues,’ he said.
Mayor A.K. Premajam said that she had presided over the Council meetings as per the rules.
“Some Opposition councillors have been using the Council as a platform for personal attacks. They could not substantiate any of the hollow allegations levelled against me,” she said.