Thiruvananthapuram

Protests at council meet

A meeting of the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation council in progress on Thursday. S. Mahinsha

A meeting of the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation council in progress on Thursday. S. Mahinsha  

Only a few of the 260-odd items on the agenda were discussed

Forty days after ugly scenes were witnessed at a meeting of the city Corporation council, leaving Mayor V.K. Prasanth injured, the issue reared its head again at a council meeting on Thursday.

Only a few of the 260-odd items on the agenda were eventually discussed as a discussion on a motion seeking censure of Bharatiya Janata Party councillors dragged on for an hour-and-a-half.

The meeting, held amid tight police security, saw Health standing committee chairperson K. Sreekumar introduce a motion seeking censure against the BJP councillors who were allegedly involved in the incident. November 18 was a black day in the 75-year history of the Corporation, Mr. Sreekumar said, adding that the BJP councillors’ conduct was condemnable.

After the Mayor gave his sanction, discussions on the resolution got under way. M.R. Gopan of the BJP said it was the Mayor’s failure to take criticism in the right spirit that had led to the incident snowballing. At the last council meeting, the Mayor should have exercised patience, instead of acting in a manner that marred the decorum of the council. He denied that any BJP councillor had attacked the Mayor.

However, Palayam Rajan condemned the BJP, alleging that after trying to ‘kill’ the Mayor, they were trying to portray that nothing had happened that day. Such incidents should not have happened in the council. Everyone should work to improve the functioning of the council. He called upon the BJP to suspend the councillors involved in the incident for five days.

No provision

The BJP councillors said the municipal Act did not have any provision for suspension of councillors, and even the CPI(M) councillors should be censured. “The Mayor fell after he stumbled,” they said.

Councillor D. Anilkumar insisted that both the LDF and the BJP were dragging the issue. “Both the CPI(M) and the BJP were two sides of the same coin. People’s concerns were not being discussed in the council owing to the stance taken by the two sides. Development works had come to standstill owing to this stalemate,” he alleged.

The UDF councillor said an all-party meeting should have been convened ahead of the council meeting to arrive at a compromise for smooth conduct of the council business. The Mayor replied that unruly scenes at the last council meeting unfolded after the day’s proceedings had concluded. The councillors should not have blocked him then.

A vote on the motion saw the UDF councillors stage a walkout, and the motion being passed with the support of 43 ruling front members. Cyclone Ockhi also came up for dicussion. The council mourned those killed and those missing after the cyclone lashed the sea off Kerala coast. The Corporation’s reponse to the cyclone was also discussed.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 6:53:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/protests-at-council-meet/article22323658.ece

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