Karthik Subramanian

With the civic body elections in October, it is likely to be the last meeting for the present body AIADMK wants to question the move for indirect election to the post of Mayor

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation council will convene on Thursday at the Ripon Buildings, the civic headquarters, for what is likely to be the last meeting of the present council with the local body elections due this October.

The AIADMK, which holds the majority in the council, finds itself in a difficult situation. The party's councillors say the meeting could be their chance to highlight their achievements over the last five years.

The party's floor leader V. Sukumarbabu adds the rider: "It all depends on whether the Deputy Mayor is willing to allow us to speak."

The last time the council convened in May, AIADMK councillors were evicted en masse from the council hall upon orders of the Deputy Mayor R. Thiagarajan. For the AIADMK councillors, it was a bitter pill to digest as Mr. Thiagarajan had contested the local body elections in 2001 on an AIADMK ticket but had joined the Congress party just before the Assembly elections this May.

The AIADMK is also keen on raising some key issues in the meeting, including the recent decision by the Local Administration Ministry to do away with direct elections to the posts of Mayors and Municipal Chairmen.

Opportunity

The party's high command has already criticised the move and with the local body elections just two months away, it is an opportunity to bring the issue to focus.

For their part, the opposition parties, including the DMK and its alliance partners, also want to bring to raise doubts over the decisions by the AIADMK councillors in various committees constituted by the civic agency.

P.V. Kalyanasundaram, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's whip in the council, pointed out that the civic agency's Works Committee, headed by Mr. Sukumarbabu, was guilty of deliberately not passing some key resolutions pertaining to the construction of flyovers in the city in the last three months. Over the past four years, council meetings have been reduced to political sparring, often with one party or the other being evicted en masse.

It remains to be seen if what turns out to be the final meeting of the present council is any different.

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