Kozhikode

High drama at Corpn. council meeting

Noisy scenes: Opposition councillors engaged in a heated argument with Mayor Thottathil Raveendran during the Corporation Council meeting in Kozhikode on Saturday.

Noisy scenes: Opposition councillors engaged in a heated argument with Mayor Thottathil Raveendran during the Corporation Council meeting in Kozhikode on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: K_RAGESH

BJP councillors walk out; opposition stages protest

The meeting of the Kozhikode Corporation Council on Saturday witnessed several dramatic scenes starting with a walkout by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors. Mayor Thottathil Raveendran denied permission to councillor E. Prashanth Kumar for an adjournment motion on the irregularities in implementing the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (Amrut) project. He then granted permission to an adjournment motion by CPI(M) councillor C.K. Zeenath on the cut in supply of kerosene to fishermen, which irked the BJP councillors.

The Mayor justified his decision, stating that he had used his discretionary powers to choose the more relevant topic. He said Congress councillor Vidya Balakrishnan had proposed a calling attention motion on the same issue proposed by Mr. Kumar.

Several councillors of the opposition came up in support of Mr. Kumar, alleging that the Mayor’s discretionary powers were wrongly used. Meanwhile, the adjournment motion by Ms. Zeenath was unanimously passed by the council.

Matters turned worse after Ms. Balakrishnan presented her motion. The opposition councillors were not satisfied with the explanations provided by the Corporation Secretary, the environment expert of Amrut or the Mayor’s proposal that a detailed report shall be given to all of them to study. The opposition councillors staged a protest in front of the Mayor’s podium despite his repeated pleas. Later, the Mayor walked out of the council.

Granting of licence

On his return a few minutes later, Independent councillor Mohammed Shameel came up with the issue of an expatriate entrepreneur being harassed by corporation officials. He warned them of a retaliation similar to the incident in Kannur, where an entrepreneur allegedly committed suicide for similar reasons.

Corporation Secretary Binu Francis explained that the entrepreneur had obtained a licence to start a hollow-brick factory, but had later added an M-Sand unit to it despite his assurance to the corporation that he would not do so. The Secretary said the industry was located in a residential area and the M-Sand unit caused severe noise and air pollution in the locality which led the local people to protest.

Heated arguments followed after CPI(M) councillor Mullaveettil Moideen countered Mr. Shameel’s allegation of bribery by a local CPI(M) leader. Mr. Moideen alleged that it was an IUML leader who had accepted bribe.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 11:41:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/high-drama-at-corpn-council-meeting/article28230690.ece

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