K.V. Prasad

Leader of MDMK in council alleges ambiguity in CMA's letter

COIMBATORE: The debate over Deputy Mayor K. Raghupathy's role as the Mayor in-charge does not show any signs of ending.

Amid conflicting claims from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) fronts over the letter sent by the Commissioner of Municipal Administration (CMA), the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) has called upon the CMA to clarify whether Mr. Raghupathy can use the Mayor's car with the revolving light and the robe worn in the Corporation Council. Mr. Raghupathy, a member of the Congress, contends that the letter dated May 31, 2006 from the CMA says he can use the Mayor's office, car and the chair in the council. The Congress' allies - DMK and Left parties - also stress this point. The order to maintain `original status quo' means sanction to use these facilities, they argue.

The AIADMK, on the other hand, interprets it as an order that Mr. Raghupathy use his car and not that of the Mayor. This applies to the office and the chair in the council. Even as this debate rages on, the MDMK's leader in the council, M. Krishnaswamy, has sent a letter to the CMA, Niranjan Mardi, asking him to specify clearly whether these can be used or not. Agreeing that the debate continues only because there is no clear mention of the facilities, Mr. Krishnaswamy feels that the mere mention of `original status quo' gives room for ambiguity and thereby allows the warring sides to draw their own conclusions. The letter points out that there are some `misgivings' among the councillors on the reply from the CMA because of its `ambiguity'.

Mr. Krishnaswamy has asked the CMA to issue a "specific clarification" until receipt of orders from the Government "so that the present confusion of this matter can be set at rest". (The CMA has referred to the Government the Corporation's letter, dated May 29, 2006, seeking directions in this issue.)