UDF councillors boycott Kochi corporation budget discussion

The budget emphasises on financial discipline.

Published: 30th March 2023 12:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2023 12:02 PM   |  A+A-

UDF councillors

UDF councillors carry A R Padmadas, who was injured in the protest, down the council hall after boycotting the budget discussion on Wednesday | Nishad T Ummer

By Express News Service

KOCHI:  The discussion on the Kochi corporation budget for 2023–24 witnessed unruly scenes on Wednesday, with UDF councillors staging protests at the council hall. The Opposition councillors shouted slogans against Mayor M Anilkumar, demanding his resignation over the Brahmapuram fire incident. 

As soon as the mayor entered the council hall, Congress councillors started their protest, holding banners and shouting slogans. Following this, the ruling councillors also raised slogans against the Opposition. After the protest, the Opposition boycotted the buget discussion and walked out of the council hall.

A R Padmadas, who was severely injured during the protests against the mayor two weeks ago, also participated in the protest on a wheelchair. Reacting to the Opposition’s protest, LDF councillor V A Sreejith said the UDF councillors are forgetting that they had ruled the corporation for 10 years till 2020. 

“The fire at Brahampuram is the result of their negligence. Before shouting slogans over the fire accident and accusing this council of being responsible for the accident, they must look back at their tenure from 2010 to 2020, on the measures taken at the Brahamapuram waste treatment plant.

After the Opposition walked out, the ruling councillors continued with the budget discussion. Councillors of the BJP participated in the discussion and expressed their disagreement with the budget proposals.
The LDF councillors who participated in the discussion termed it a “realistic and visionary budget”. 

“The budget has innovative and effective solutions to problems faced by the city, including waste management. The budget emphasises on financial discipline. It has announced important and limited projects that could be completed within a year,” said P R Ranish of the ruling front. 

Opposition leader Antony Kureethara said they will not participate in the council meeting.  “We raise our strong disagreement to this budget,” he said. “At a time when the state government is promoting centralised waste management, the Kochi corporation is planning decentralised waste management,” said Kureethara.

Responding to the overall chaos, Mayor Anilkumar said the corporation will be ruled by the LDF as long as there is a majority.  “Never in the history of Kochi corporation has a mayor been blocked outside the corporation office, as the UDF did during their protests recently. On the day of the attack, protests were led by DCC president Muhammad Shiyas. They also attacked the corporation’s secretary, who is a civil servant,” said Anilkumar.

India Matters


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