15 councillors vote for no-trust motion in 29-member council
PATHANAMTHITTA: United Democratic Front-sponsored no-confidence motions moved against the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the Pathanamthitta municipality were passed amidst tight security in the town on Thursday.
Municipal chairperson Amrutham Gokulan, Communist Party of India (Marxist), and vice-chairperson P.C. Muhammed Sali, Independent, were voted out when 15 members in the 29-member municipal council voted for the no-confidence motion. Thirteen councillors, who belong to the Left Democratic Front and their Independent supporters, did not attend the meeting. Though LDF council party secretary and chief whip Zakir Hussein participated in the discussion on the motion, he abstained from voting.
The no-trust motion was moved after two councillors, Rosamma Kuriakose of the Kerala Congress(J) and Sandhya Santhosh, an Independent, switched their loyalties. The lone BJP member Ambily Rajendran voted for the no-trust motion.
The council meeting was held amidst tight security arrangements in the town and around the municipal office. The discussion on the motion against the civic chief was held in the forenoon and that against the vice-chairman in the afternoon.
District Collector Ashok Kumar Singh had issued prohibitory orders in the town under Section 21 of the Police Act from 11 p.m. on Wednesday on the recommendations of the Superintendent of Police M.N. Jayaprakash. The Inspector-General of Police Arun Kumar Sinha, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police Nithin Agarwal and the Additional Superintendents of Police Anoop John Kuruvilla and C.H. Nagaraju were camping in Pathanamthitta.
According to the SP, 600 policemen were deployed in the town as part of the security arrangements.
UDF council party leader and former chairman P.Mohanraj and 12 other councillors had moved the Kerala High Court seeking police protection to them. The UDF councillors were brought to the office in a police van and were taken back with police protection. Municipal Joint Director M.A. Sreedharan Nair would submit his report to the Election Commission on Friday.