Kochi

Kalamassery municipal chairperson, Opposition councillors on collision course

LDF councillors laying siege to Kalamassery Municipal Chairperson Semma Kannan in her cabin on Thursday.

LDF councillors laying siege to Kalamassery Municipal Chairperson Semma Kannan in her cabin on Thursday.

Kalamassery municipal chairperson Seema Kannan and the Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) councillors seem to be on a collision course with both sides continuing to trade charges and neither willing to relent.

For the second day running, tension erupted in the chairperson’s cabin as the LDF councillors laid siege to it for two hours and Ms. Kannan asked the Kalamassery Station House Officer to arrest them. Following this, 19 protesting councillors were arrested and removed from her cabin. Later in the day, she petitioned the District Police Chief (Kochi City), accusing LDF councillors of trying to physically harm her and stop her from discharging her constitutional duties.

Acrimonious scenes were witnessed after the ruling and Opposition councillors almost came to blows in the chairperson’s cabin over the premature dismissal of the council meeting and unilateral passage of the agenda on Wednesday.

The situation seems far from diffused with the LDF, steadfast on twin demands, planning to stage a protest in front of the municipal office on January 3. “We have asked for copies of the minutes of all council meetings held in the last one year. We are yet to get all the copies. We also want the agenda, which was unilaterally passed by the chairperson without any discussion, to be taken up afresh in the next council meeting. Protests will continue till our demands are met,” said K.K. Sasi, the LDF councillor of the Medical College division.

Ms. Kannan, however, said the agenda, for which she had the majority and the mandate, was passed in compliance with the rule book. “There is no question of reconsidering an already passed agenda. The copies of minutes have also been delivered at the homes of the Opposition councillors after they declined to accept them personally,” she said.

The chairperson challenged the Opposition to prove the corruption charges against her, including those related to the tendering of an earth mover for usage during a potential emergency, by taking them to the Vigilance. Ms. Kannan accused the LDF of disrupting the waste movement in the municipality by opposing the deployment of 10 autorickshaws purchased for waste collection. “They have been blocking the deployment of vehicles for three months, thus trying to whip up public sentiments against the committee. We are no longer going to pay heed to them and the autorickshaws will be immediately deployed,” said Ms. Kannan, who accused the LDF of targeting her owing to her Scheduled Caste background.

She claimed that she had accommodated the Opposition by postponing two council meetings in view of the CPI(M) district committee meeting.


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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 7:36:55 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kalamassery-municipal-chairperson-opposition-councillors-on-collision-course/article38072090.ece