Staff Correspondent

26 councillors seek to move no-trust motion against president

MLA is said to have promised Congresswoman’s son that she will be ‘promoted’

Clarifications sought on meeting’s viability as model code of conduct is in force

Chitradurga: Work on various projects in the city is getting affected following a rift among municipal councillors over the removal of City Municipal Council president Gausia Banu.

However, the members have not come to any consensus on a course of action.

The CMC has 35 members, of which 17 belong to the Janata Dal (Secular), 15 to the Congress and three are independent members. The JD(S) has the majority with the support of the independents.

While 26 members have signed a letter seeking a no-confidence motion against Ms. Banu, nine are against it.

The post of president has been reserved for a woman of the BCM ‘A’ category. Ms. Banu is the only candidate who fits the bill. She was elected on a JD(S) ticket.

Surprisingly, the JD(S) is now ready to remove her from the post and make Congress member Sharadamma president. The reason for this is said to be a ‘promise’ made by city MLA S.K. Basavarajan of the JD(S) to Ms. Sharadamma’s son, Sriram, one of his staunch followers, that his mother would be promoted. The promise is learnt to have been made during the last Assembly elections.

“To keep his promise, he (Basavarajan) is compromising on the party’s ideologies by instructing JD(S) members to support Ms. Sharadamma’s candidature,” said a member who did not wish to be named.

Ms. Banu has a 30-month tenure, of which 12 months have elapsed. Party sources say that an agreement to oust Ms. Banu was made after the municipal elections were held.

“Since she has completed 12 months, Mr. Basavarajan wants to remove her,” the member said.

Some JD(S) members believe that Ms. Banu’s removal will adversely impact the party’s prospects of a victory in the Lok Sabha polls.

On February 26, 2009, 26 councillors had urged the president to call for meeting to move a no-confidence motion against her. However, even after 15 days, the meeting was not convened. The members, again on March 13, sent a letter to the Municipal Commissioner asking him to convene the meeting.

But as the model code of conduct is in force, the members, through the Commissioner, have now sought clarifications from the Election Commission on whether such a meeting can be convened. Meanwhile, it is learnt that Deputy Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas will soon hold a meeting with the members to discuss the issue.

A member, Raghuram Reddy, who is among nine against Ms. Banu’s removal, said they were in the process of convincing other members not to go through with their decision, at least till the Lok Sabha elections were over. While the members are struggling to find a solution to the problem, people here are still receiving turbid water from the Shanti Sagar Dam. About a week ago, the CMC had promised to supply clean water within three days, but political haggling has left the administration paralysed.