Mallika steps down; successor likely in Dec.

Fond farewell: M.V. Ratna Bindu, the Congress corporator who is set to take over as Mayor, greets Mallika Begum on Thursday.

Fond farewell: M.V. Ratna Bindu, the Congress corporator who is set to take over as Mayor, greets Mallika Begum on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

Staff Reporter

City Congress president announces selection of Ratna Bindu for the slot

A lot of development work launched during Mallika Begum’s tenure, says the Congress leader

Inauguration of conference hall by Mallika Begum leads to criticism

VIJAYAWADA: Betraying no emotion, Mallika Begum got out of her seat, took away her mayoral robe, waved hand to take leave of the corporators and walked out of the council hall quietly, marking an end to her two-year-long term as Mayor on Thursday. The general body of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC), which met for just 10 minutes in a special sitting, accepted her resignation.

It is likely to elect her successor on December 2 or 4. The State Election Commission, on receiving a communication from the Municipal Administration Department about the vacancy, would issue a notification calling upon the corporators to elect a Mayor.

City Congress committee president Pyla Sominaidu, at a press conference in Andhra Ratna Bhavan, announced that the party had selected 21st division corporator Muttamsetti Venkata Ratna Bindu to succeed Ms. Begum. He said “monumental amount of development” had been grounded in the city under JNNURM during Ms. Begum’s tenure.

Ms. Begum, who did all the talking without giving an opportunity to corporators to say anything about her tenure, described her elevation to the post as a “recognition of the Muslim minorities” in the coastal districts. “For the first time in the history of Vijayawada, a Muslim woman was elected Mayor. Muslim minorities are ever thankful to the Congress government. It’s a remarkable development, and will be written in golden letters in the history,” she said.

Party thanked

Recollecting the developmental works taken up during her tenure, she said: “I could discharge duties in a most efficient manner during the last two years. It’s a golden period, as several hundreds of crores of rupees have been sanctioned under JNNURM.” Every division in the city was witnessing tremendous progress in view of the works like underground drainage and water supply being taken up with several crores of rupees.

She thanked the Congress leadership, more particularly Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, Vijayawada East MLA Vangaveeti Radhakrishna and Kankipadu MLA Devineni Rajasekhar, for reposing faith in her. Thanking the corporators for extending their cooperation, she urged them to extend similar cooperation to her successor too.

The special sitting of the general body began and concluded within no time, even as corporators of the Left parties and the TDP were staging a sit-in protest in front of the council hall building. They were protesting against inviting city Congress president Pyla Sominaidu on to the dais at a meeting organised by the VMC to disburse loans to women self-help groups under Indira Kranthi Patham on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Ms. Begum and others inaugurated a conference hall for the meetings of the standing committee before the beginning of the general body meeting, but it led to some criticism. Ms. Ratna Bindu and a few other corporators of Vijayawada East MLA Vangaveeti Radhakrishna’s group, who were sitting in adjacent chamber, were reportedly not informed about the inauguration. A few standing committee members like CPI (M) corporator K. Sridevi were also not present.

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