Congress councilors revolt against Mayor, boycott meeting

Mangaluru: The ruling Congress in the Mangaluru City Corporation council faced a banner of revolt from within, with many councilors, including Deputy Mayor Rajaneesh and chairpersons of two standing committees, boycotting the monthly meeting of the council on Thursday venting their anger against Mayor Kavita Sanil.

According to them, the Mayor did not invite, inform and consult Nagaveni, chairperson of the Standing Committee for Public Health, Education and Social Justice, about a programme of the corporation scheduled at the Town Hall here on Friday.

The programme belonged to the Urban Poverty Alleviation Cell supervised by the committee.

Sitting on the Well of the House, Ms. Nagaveni protested against fixing the programme without consulting her.

A faction of the Congress councilors supported by all 21 councilors of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too joined Ms. Nagaveni and sat on the Well.

The BJP councillors shouted “shame shame”.

Ms. Nagaveni shouted that it was an insult to a Dalit as she represented the Scheduled Castes.

Leaving their chairs and walking within the House, the Congress councilors belonging to two factions had heated arguments within.

While one faction came to the support of the Mayor, another faction was determined to disrupt the proceedings of the House.

MLAs, J.R. Lobo and B.A. Mohiuddin Bava, and MLC Ivan D’Souza, all from the Congress, who came to the council remained mute spectators to the incident.

When the protesting councilors did not listen to the appeal of the Mayor to return to their chairs, Ms. Sanil adjourned the House for “10 minutes” but it resumed after an hour.

Ms. Sanil told the re-convened House that equipment would be distributed to select beneficiaries in the programme scheduled on Friday.

The beneficiaries had been selected when she was the chairperson of the health committee before getting elected as Mayor.

The programme had been scheduled earlier but had to be postponed as the district in-charge minister B. Ramanath Rai was not well. The date had been fixed for Friday as instructed by the Minister.

But not convinced with this, a faction of Congress councilors and all BJP councilors, including Prathiba Kulai, chairperson, Standing Committee for Taxation, Finance and Appeals, and Ms. Nagaveni, boycotted the meeting.

However, the Mayor continued the meeting later as according to the council section officials there was quorum to conduct the meeting.

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