Special Correspondent

Upset over charges by councillors

COIMBATORE: Officials of the Mettupalayam Municipality staged a walkout from the Council meeting on Wednesday, taking exception to charges of irregularities levelled against them by councillors.

The meeting of the 33-member Council was adjourned after officials made it clear that they would keep off if the elected representatives were bent on hurling “baseless” charges at them.

Kickbacks

Municipal Commissioner K. Rajan told The Hindu that the officials were very upset at the councillors for accusing them of demanding kickbacks in return for awarding development works to contractors.

Some of the councillors had alleged that the officials had a nexus with contractors and were awarding contracts in return for money.

“They accused the officials of fixing a percentage of the project cost as kickbacks,” the Commissioner said.

“We told them (councillors) not to level baseless charges. We also asked them to either prove the charges or apologise for the remarks,” he said.

When the councillors indicated clearly that they were in no mood to relent, the officials, led by the Commissioner, staged a walkout.

“It was not fair to ask us to promise before a deity in a temple that we were not corrupt. This was no way to talk to officials. If they had any grouse against us, they could have complained to higher officials, instead of resorting to making baseless allegations,” Mr. Rajan said.

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