A heated debate over the inclusion of additional agenda at the monthly council meeting of Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Corporation between the ruling and opposition party members ultimately forced the Mayor to adjourn the meeting indefinitely in Hubballi on Saturday.
As soon as the meeting began, council secretary Gurushanthappa Dambal proceeded to present the additional agenda of the meeting to which the opposition party members led by opposition leader Suvarna Kallakuntla and others objected and sought clarification on what the council rules said.
Referring to Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act, it was said that as per rules the additional agenda should be made available to all the council members in writing. Then the opposition sought to know how the agenda could be tabled without intimidating the council members and also asked whether there was any law which permitted it.
As the opposition and ruling party members, including Thippanna Majjagi, started trading charges, the legal advisor to the council intervened to give a clarification which most in the council failed to grasp leading to further commotion.
Meanwhile, BJP councillors suggested to Mayor Veena Baradwad to adjourn the meeting for some time, with a view to getting clarification on the issue of guidelines.
However, the Mayor adjourned the meeting for half an hour saying that the additional agenda has been dropped from the meeting, which consequently evoked strong reaction from the BJP councillors, while the opposition councillors welcomed it by thumping tables.
Taking strong exception to their own Mayor’s decision, the BJP councilors rushed to the well of the House and protested. Subsequently, they went to the Mayor’s chamber to raise their objection.
When the meeting resumed, the opposition party leaders sought clarification on the issue, while a few of the ruling party members rushed towards them in a menacing manner resulting in a heated exchange of words again.
Within minutes, the Mayor walked out of the hall, ringing the bell and announcing that the meeting was adjourned. sin diewhich was booed by the opposition members.
‘BJP stands exposed’
Speaking to presspersons, Ms. Suvarna Kallakuntla (leader of opposition in the municipal council) said that these developments have exposed the BJP which did not want discussion on such issues.
“This is not the first time that additional agenda is being included without prior notice and information. We are not against including additional agenda, but it has to be done following due procedure. If they don’t give us copies of additional agenda, then how can we be prepared to deliberate upon it,” she said and added that the real agenda of the BJP is to get issues of their interest approved in the council meeting.
When asked, the Mayor accused the opposition members of trying to create nuisance in one way or the other. She said that they are doing it deliberately.
She clarified that the Mayor had the discretionary powers to include any issue under additional agenda and as the issue of civic workers (who are on agitation) is important, the council wanted to discuss it in the additional agenda.
However, when presspersons pointed out that among the eight issues mentioned in the additional agenda, there was no mention of the issue of pourakarmikas, she had no answer.