Visakhapatnam

Visakhapatnam: YSRCP stumped by voices of protest from party members

Police detaining activists protesting outside the GVMC office against the hike in property tax and collection of user charges on garbage collection, in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

Police detaining activists protesting outside the GVMC office against the hike in property tax and collection of user charges on garbage collection, in Visakhapatnam on Thursday. | Photo Credit: V. RAJU

In a rare sequence of events, corporators from the ruling YSR Congress Party expressed their displeasure at their floor leader, Deputy Mayors and other leaders of their own party, accusing them of dominating others in the council and not allowing others to have a say in the running of the council’s affairs.

GVMC officials were reading out the agenda for the meeting when Ward 72 corporator T. Vamsi Reddy intervened, stating that the the agenda points were being approved only by a handful of YSRCP leaders without any consultations with the rest of the corporators. Stating that this practice was against democratic norms, he said it is the right of every corporator to know what agenda they are approving, and added that they are not in the council merely to ‘tap on the desk’.

He also questioned the Mayor for not giving time to other party corporators, especially women, to speak about their issues before the council. Mr. Vamsi’s statements were applauded by the TDP, BJP and other corporators who ‘tapped on the desk’ expressing their support. However, it did not go down well with the YSRCP senior leaders, some of who quickly walked up to him and pacified him.

Stormy affair

The first hour of the council meeting witnessed protests as members of the TDP flocked to the Mayor’s podium demanding that Question Hour be conducted first before proceeding to the discussion of the agenda. Heated words were exchanged between the ruling and opposition benches.

Unable to control the situation, the Mayor allotted one hour for Question Hour, where the TDP leaders slammed the GVMC for alleged irregularities in levying property tax in some wards. Responding to it, the GVMC Commissioner assured action against officers responsible for the lapses.

Marshals deployed

Probably for the first time, the GVMC deputed marshals in the council meeting on Thursday. Though there is a need to have a separate team of marshals, the GVMC picked up several persons from the GVMC staff and gave them uniforms.

A large number of activists from the CPI and CPI(M) staged protests outside the GVMC building demanding a rollback of the hike in property tax on Thursday.

The activists said there was strong resistance from the public over the government’s decision to collect garbage collection charges and hike existing property tax rates. The leaders also alleged that the GVMC had organised the council meeting only to clear the proposal for allotting two acres of land to YSRCP for its party office in Yendada, and not to discuss any public issues.


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Printable version | May 27, 2022 12:50:11 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/visakhapatnam-ysrcp-stumped-by-voices-of-protest-from-party-members/article65464126.ece