Councillors of both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the United Democratic Front (UDF), walked out of a city Corporation council meeting on Friday in protest against Mayor Arya Rajendran not taking part in a general body meeting of working groups ahead of the preparation of the People’s Plan for the year. Though the council meeting was convened to discuss the draft proposals for the 2021-22 annual Plan, the proposals never became a point of discussion.
The Opposition councillors demanded that the Mayor apologise for skipping the meeting to take part in CPI(M) party event. Ms. Rajendran refuted these allegations and said that she could not take part in the meeting as she had to take part in a training programme organised by the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) as well as an organisational event. The Deputy Mayor, who was supposed to chair the meeting in her absence, could not do so because of ill health. Yet, the meeting went ahead as per schedule and the Mayor was apprised of the proceedings. She maintained that it was not improper to organise the working group meeting in the absence of the Mayor.
The BJP councillors also alleged that they did not also get enough time to study or discuss the draft proposals. The BJP councillors were the first to stage a walkout, while the UDF councillors followed suit before long. The draft proposals which were brought to the council after discussions in the working group meetings and the respective standing committee, were passed without discussion.
Ward sabhas today
The draft proposals will now be discussed in the ward sabhas, set to begin on Saturday. The suggestions from the ward sabhas will be included and discussed in the development seminar to be organised later this month. The annual Plan will be prepared after this.