Chennai Mayor, 97 councillors submit their resignation
CHENNAI: As desired by Chief Minister and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, 98 councillors of the DMK-led alliance in the Chennai Corporation Council, including Mayor M. Subramanian, resigned their posts on Thursday.
Councillors of the DMK, Congress, PMK and DPI submitted their resignation letters to Mr. Subramanian at the Ripon Buildings.
Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni forwarded the resignations of 97 councillors to the State Election Commission. The Corporation Council will convene on Friday to ratify the resignation of the Mayor.
With this, 100 seats in the 155-member Council will fall vacant. Two seats were already vacant.
The en masse resignations follow Mr. Karunanidhi's statement on Wednesday that councillors of the DMK-led alliance in 99 wards, adversely mentioned in a recent Madras High Court verdict, would face elections and not wait for legal relief. The alliance held 98 wards the DMK 58, Congress 25, PMK 13 and DPI 2.
Councillor stays put
K. Armstrong Raj of the Bahujan Samaj Party from Ward 53 was the lone councillor from the list who did not resign. The Mayor was seen requesting him.
The State Election Commission has announced that elections to Wards 61 and 71 of the Corporation, scheduled for February 8, have been postponed. A Commission press release said the decision was taken after Mr. Lakhoni opined that elections to all vacant wards could be conducted in a single round at a later date.
The posts in Wards 61 and 71 fell vacant last October after the AIADMK, which had won in 4 wards, asked its councillors to resign. Only two resigned. One continued as an independent and another defected to the DMK.
Mr. Subramanian told reporters, just before submitting his resignation, that the DMK and its alliance partners were confident of winning the re-election. "I hope that all the councillors who have submitted their resignations today will get re-elected. We are confident that the State Government's achievements will hold us in good stead."
Councillors started arriving at the Chennai Corporation headquarters from morning itself. DMK cadres present at the Mayor's chambers requested them to submit their resignation with a smile. "This is just temporary. We will surely return," they said even as the media recorded the events.