The ‘Endosulfan effect' appears to be percolating down to the panchayati raj-level. Political drama over the controversial chemical pesticide reached a new height here on Tuesday, when the United Democratic Front (UDF)-controlled Kottayam Municipal Council banned the sale and use of Endosulfan within the municipal area.

The sequence of events that led to the unprecedented declaration commenced with the Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) calling for a resolution to be adopted by the council at its emergency session called to discuss the issue of continuing crisis over waste management in the municipal area.

The LDF wanted to adopt a resolution criticising the Centre, which had taken an open pro-Endosulfan stance.

Quick on the uptake

The move caught the UDF unawares, but Municipal Chairman and Congress leader Sunny Kalloor was not one to blink so easily. The seasoned politician he is, Mr. Kalloor just stood up and declared that he, as the chairman of the Council, was hereby banning the sale and use of Endosulfan within the municipal area with immediate effect.

Caught on the wrong foot, the LDF members were on their feet expressing the doubt whether the chairman had the power to issue such an order. There was not an iota of doubt as far as Mr. Kalloor was concerned.

“To the best of my knowledge, as per the Panchayati Raj Act, I am empowered to take such decisions in view of the welfare of the people residing within the municipal area,” he declared.

The LDF representatives, crestfallen in their failed attempt to gain a few brownie points, just gave in and the Council moved on to their usual business. That, Endosulfan is already banned in the State, was easily forgotten in the melee.