Congress, MIM ‘boycott' GHMC meeting

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Vociferous protest:Telugu Desam corporators raise slogans at the general body meeting of the GHMC on Wednesday.
Vociferous protest:Telugu Desam corporators raise slogans at the general body meeting of the GHMC on Wednesday.

Special Correspondent

Not a single member from the ruling combine turns up for the meeting

Meeting convened to decide on formation of 1,476 ward committees

Special meet postponed for lack of quorum of 108 members, including ex-officio members

HYDERABAD: The fourth special meeting of GHMC council on Wednesday turned out to be a damp squib with the ruling combine of Congress and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) members not turning up at all.

Neither corporators nor ex-officio members like MPs, MLAs and MLCs of both parties bothered to attend the council meeting convened to decide on formation of 1,476 ward committees where representatives of the civic society find a place.

While the Opposition, Telugu Desam, five BJP, lone Praja Rajyam and Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) members trooped into the revamped hall to accommodate 150 corporators and 65 ex-officio members at 11 a.m., not a single member from the ruling combine could be seen.

Sensing the meeting was going to be cancelled, TDP members led by floor leader S. Srinivas Reddy trooped into the hall and began to raise slogans demanding Mayor B. Kartika Reddy and Commissioner Sameer Sharma conduct the proceedings.

Soon, Mr. Sharma, his senior colleagues took their seats followed by Mrs. Reddy. “Where are the MIM-Congress members? There is a G.O. to conduct the election so we cannot postpone it. We are ready to cooperate to support the poll,” said MLC Ibrahim Masqati. “We will sit till late in the night to complete the process,” said Mr. Reddy.

However, Mrs. Kartika Reddy stated the obvious – that only 46 plus two members were present and hence the special meeting is being postponed for lack of proper quorum. “Next date will be announced soon,” she announced and left amidst sloganeering by TDP members.

At least 108 members, including ex-officio members (50 per cent), have to be present to conduct the meeting, municipal officials said. Congress has 93 – 52 corporators, 14 MLAs, 14 MLCs, eight Rajya Sabha and three Lok Sabha members; TDP – 45 corporators, one MLA, two MLCs and one MP, MIM-42 corporators, seven MLAs, one MLC and one MP; BJP- five corporators and one MLA, TRS-one MP, MBT & PR-one corporator in the council.

Deep differences among the Congressmen – between MPs, MLAs and corporators, in deciding members of ward committees is said to have led to the unprecedented boycott forcing the cancellation. The government had earlier issued orders directing 20 per cent of the annual budget be allocated to ward committees to take up works like sanitation and others.

While the corporator concerned will be the chairperson, at least 10 members are to be drawn from electors representing the civil society from the respective ward and area sabha members (yet to be formed). Nominated members are four if ward population is not more than 10,000, with an additional member for every 4,000 population.

Fifty per cent have to be women and civil society members can be president/secretary of registered residents' welfare associations, member of tax payers association, office-bearer of slum or senior member of a self-help group, member of a NGO, chamber of commerce, medical council or any prominent citizen. Already, the election date was postponed twice without assigning any reason.

GHMC secretary M.S.S. Somaraju said that the government would be requested to suggest another date for the meeting.

If the second meeting too ends in a farce, the Municipal Corporation can go ahead with the election in the subsequent meeting even if there is no quorum.



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