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Groupism in Congress comes to the fore

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Order Order: Mayor Mallika Begum presiding over Vijayawada Municipal Corporation general body meeting in the Council hall on Friday.
Order Order: Mayor Mallika Begum presiding over Vijayawada Municipal Corporation general body meeting in the Council hall on Friday.

Staff Reporter

Heated discussion at VMC general body meet on road proposal

Many corporators stay away from voting

Deputy Mayor’s charge makes the issue controversial

VIJAYAWADA: Group politics in the ruling Congress came to the fore during voting on a raucous discussion on the issue of Funtimes Club road at the general body meeting of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Friday.

Most of the corporators, owing allegiance to Vijayawada (East) MLA Vangaveeti Radhakrishna, deliberately stayed away from voting at the end of a heated discussion, forcing the remaining members to vote in favour of an amendment moved by the TDP and the CPI.

The discussion was on the VMC’s proposal to take a piece of land belonging to Mallineni Venkateswara Rao and eight others at Patamata for the laying of a road from Gurunanak colony to Pantakaluva road and compensating them by giving them alternative land at the same place.

The issue turned controversial after Deputy Mayor Anne Prasanna alleged some time ago that some members of the standing committee received kickbacks to approve the proposal to allot land worth crores of rupees to Mr. Rao and others.

Ms. Prasanna also charged Mayor Mallika Begum with “dancing to the tunes of some brokers”. Neither the Congress nor the Mayor had condemned the allegations.

Even though the Congress initially sought postponement of the issue, the CPI, CPI (M) and the TDP insisted on a discussion.

At the end, the CPI and the TDP proposed that a piece of alternative land be given at the same place, while the CPI (M) moved another amendment urging the Government to conduct an inquiry into the allegations that irregularities had taken place in allotting alternative land.

Pushed to corner

The Mayor and other members of the Congress soon realised that they did not have the required strength to oppose both the resolutions. Pushed to a corner and keen on avoiding an inquiry into the issue, the Congress members sailed with the CPI and the TDP by supporting their resolution, which won by 17 to 15.

The resolution moved by the CPI (M) was defeated by seven votes.

Mr. Radhakrishna’s loyalists spent time watching TV in the Mayor’s chamber even as the voting was in progress. They reportedly turned down Ms. Prasanna’s request to them to vote against the resolutions.

Ms. Prasanna earlier sought to clarify that she and a few other corporators were not against allotting land to Mr. Rao and others at the same locality.


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