Kerala

Uproar marks special council meet

A special council meeting of the city Corporation on Wednesday witnessed a major uproar with councillors of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) involved in a tense stand-off at the well for sometime.

The meeting, convened to discuss the civic body’s assets and revenue, was wound up in less than an hour without discussing the items in the agenda, even as the BJP councillors continued sloganeering.

The special council meeting was convened based on a notice given by the BJP, the fifth such special meeting being convened on the party’s demand in the past four months. As per the rules, if one third of the councillors issue a notice for a special council, it has to be convened.

BJP councillor M.R. Gopan, who opened the discussion questioned whether the Corporation has a record of all its assets and properties. He also demanded details about the legal cases related to these assets.

But, when he began speaking on the revenue-related issues, the LDF councillors said that speaking on issues outside the scope of the special council’s agenda cannot be allowed. LDF councillor Palayam Rajan said the BJP had made a mistake in preparing the agenda.

Mayor Arya Rajendran read out the letter submitted by the BJP councillors demanding a special council meeting, in which the agenda was mentioned as ‘Protection of the Corporation’s assets and revenue decision’. The LDF councillors argued that the discussions should thus stick to the Corporation’s assets alone.

Mr. Gopan accused the Corporation of not taking any steps to increase revenue and also raised the issue of the State Audit Department finding fund misappropriation by some employees in zonal offices. The Mayor said no one could be allowed to mislead the council, as the audit was conducted at the request of the administration, after getting information about mishandling of funds in some zonal offices.

“Inspections were carried out in all the zonal offices based on our request. I can produce proof of our requests. I have come to this meeting after signing the suspension orders of some officials allegedly involved in corruption,” said Ms. Rajendran.

This was followed by an extended shouting match between councillors of the ruling LDF and the opposition BJP. Though the Mayor made attempts to calm the situation and restart the debates, the BJP councillors accused her of not providing sufficient time for the BJP councillors to speak.

Meanwhile, the UDF councillors walked out of the meeting accusing the LDF and the BJP of playing a fixed match. When the next councillor from the LDF side began to speak, the BJP councillors rose from their seats and trooped into the well. As the din continued unabated for several minutes, the Mayor declared that the meeting had ended.


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 3:31:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/special-council-meet-ends-without-discussing-agenda-after-uproar/article36616875.ece

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