THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The ‘Mother of all dramas’ was perfectly enacted by the City Corporation councillors on Thursday. The story was woven around garbage and while the first few scenes were directed by the UDF members inside the Council Hall, the LDF added spice and took it to a climax in front of the Chief Minister’s residence. The BJP refused to play any role. At the end of the day, the questions on garbage issues still remained inconclusive.
The Council meeting was scheduled for 3 pm and exactly at that time the UDF councillors took to the floor of the Council shouting slogans demanding the resignation of Mayor K Chandrika over the piling up of garbage in the city. The UDF members led by Johnson Joseph and Maheswaran Nair shouted that the garbage was leading to the fear of the spread of epidemics. They waited at the entrance of the Council Hall ready to block the Mayor on her way to the Chair.
After a few minutes, the Mayor and the LDF councillors squeezed their way through the shouting UDF members and walked out of the Council Hall. Taken by surprise, the UDF members remained inside the hall, while the LDF members declared (outside) that they were marching to the Chief Minister’s official residence, Cliff House.
‘’The UDF is saying that we are not taking steps to dispose of the garbage. How can we, when the panchayat has locked the plant and handed over the key to the CM?,’’ asked the Mayor.
However, amidst the shouting and fury, they forgot the fact that the CM stays at Jagathy and not at Cliff House. The team which headed straight to Cliff House took on Water Resources Minister P J Joseph, who happened to cross their path and demanded an answer to the ‘keys’ (to the garbage treatment plant). To which, the Minister assured the team that he, ‘’would talk with the CM and take a decision on the keys.’’ The LDF members then walked back and headed straight to Jagathy.
By this time, a bunch of police officials had already stationed themselves in front of the CM’s residence and all roads to the house were blocked. School buses with children heading home and employees leaving offices were caught in the traffic congestion that choked the roads from Vazhuthacaud to Jagathy at the time of the LDF march.
The LDF members, who blocked all paths to the lane leading to the CM’s house, staged a sit-in on the road. The district leaders of the CPI rushed to the spot. Bottles of water were distributed as LDF leaders took turns to shout slogans.
‘’We will not move an inch without the CM giving us an assurance on the issue. The Lokayukta has ordered to maintain status quo; then why is not the government allowing us to open the plant,’’ top leaders asked.
The Mayor said that she would not budge an inch without the CM reaching the spot.
After nearly an hour, CPM leader V Sivankutty reached the spot and spoke to the leaders, which finally saw the end of the day’s drama. By then, the leaders had shed their adamant stand and without waiting for the CM to appear, dispersed.