A meeting of the Kozhikode Corporation Council held here on Saturday witnessed noisy exchanges between the councillors of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF).
Mayor A.K. Premajam, who chaired the session in the afternoon, abruptly called off the meeting when the members from both sides began shouting at each other. However, the council — backed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)–led LDF — approved more than 100 items without any discussion in less than five minutes.
The trouble began as soon as the council began the proceedings for the day after expressing condolence over the death of Governor M.O.H. Farook and social critic Sukumar Azhikode. Socialist Janata (Democratic) [(SJ(D)] members C. Moinkutty and P. Kishenchand said the swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected councillor from Elathur ward C.M. Sunilkumar (Congress) was not held in a suitable manner.
None of the Opposition members had been informed about the ceremony in held in the Mayor's chamber in the morning, they said. This led to arguments between the Opposition and ruling members. The Mayor clarified that the swearing-in ceremony was done as per the rules of the Kerala Municipal Act and that the Opposition councillors were raking up a controversy for no reason.
Soon afterwards, the Mayor announced that she was rejecting an emergency resolution moved by the Opposition leader M.T. Padma seeking the State government to take action against the CPI (M) activists on the charge of attempt to murder a Congress councillor T. Krishnadas on the polling day. The resolution was politically- motivated that deserved no merit for an emergency resolution, Prof. Premajam said. She said no further discussion would be entertained in the council in this regard. However, the Opposition stuck to its demand shouting slogans against the Mayor and the ruling CPI(M) councillors countering with hoots. Some of them also displayed placards that they had brought with them.
As the uproar continued without any signs of stopping, the Mayor asked Congress councillor K. Balagopalan to table his calling attention motion.
Later addressing a news conference, Prof. Premajam said the leaders of all parties had been informed about the swearing-in of the new councillor. But the Opposition members showed no civility even to turn up for the ceremony. The function could not be celebrated as the State government had declared seven-day mourning, she said.
The Mayor said she was in Thiruvananthapuram on the by-election day. She tried to visit Mr. Krishnadas at the Government Beach Hospital later but by then he had been discharged and he had left for his wife's residence. However, she contacted him over phone.
Earlier, Ms. Padma and Indian Union Muslim League member K. Mohammedali told presspersons that a conspiracy had been hatched to murder Mr. Krishnadas on the polling day.