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BJP councillors to continue protest after consensus eludes Thiruvananthapuram meeting

The special meeting of the council is likely to be a stormy affair as the BJP councillors, who have been staging a sit-in for nearly a week now, will disrupt the council.

Published: 05th October 2021 02:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2021 02:22 AM   |  A+A-

BJP councillors, who have been staying inside the corporation office for the past five days, raise slogans on Monday.

BJP councillors, who have been staying inside the corporation office for the past five days, raise slogans on Monday. (Photo | Vincent Pulickal)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: BJP councillors will continue their protest inside the corporation council hall against the financial irregularities in revenue collection allegedly by corporation staff. The decision came after the mediatory meeting convened by Mayor S Arya Rajendran failed to arrive at a consensus. BJP councillors said the Mayor did not accept the three demands put forth by the councillors. However, the Mayor called the meeting a success during a press conference on Monday, October 4, 2021, while ruling out calling another meeting to discuss the issue. 

The special meeting of the council, which is scheduled for Tuesday, is likely to be a stormy affair as the BJP councillors, who have been staging a sit-in for nearly a week now, will disrupt the council proceedings. On Monday,  senior BJP councillor P Asok Kumar was shifted to hospital after he complained of uneasiness, At present, 53 BJP councillors are continuing the protest.  V V Rajesh, councillor and BJP district president, said the party decided to continue its protest after the Mayor failed to give in to the demands of BJP councillors. 

“The BJP  raised four demands. One was to pass a resolution to ensure the arrest and timely prosecution of staff involved in the forgery. Right now, the police have charged non-bailable offences against the suspects. But the police have not even started custodial interrogation. The second one is to set up helpdesks at zonal offices and the main office for public. The other two, including fixing the technical glitches of ‘ Sankhya’ software and formulate a transparent system for the people to check the status of arrears and tax payments. So we will continue the protest,” Rajesh said. The councillors also staged an evening dharna at all the 100 wards of the corporation. The protest began on September 29 during the special council meet. 

Will publish list of tax arrears 
Meanwhile, Arya said the corporation will publish the list of tax arrears soon by formulating a transparent system.  “The ward-wise list will be published on the corporation website within a month. This will include the arrears amount,” she told reporters. “The possibility of opening separate accounts for all 11 zonal offices will be examined. We will approach the government for this. If there is a problem after publishing the list of dues,  people can contact the respective zonal offices for redressal. Scrutiny of financial transactions will be tightened,” she said. The Mayor also said once the investigation is completed, action will be taken to recover the lost amount from fraudsters.

FOUR CORP EMPLOYEES SUSPENDED FOR GRAFT
T’Puram:
Four corporation employees were suspended over allegations of financial fraud to the tune of D33.96 lakh. The Kerala State Audit Department’s concurrent audit found that money received as taxes was misappropriated by employees of  Nemom, Sreekariyam, Ulloor and Attipra zonal offices of the corporation.  S Shanthi and S Sunitha,  superintendent and cashier, respectively at the Nemom office, were suspended two weeks ago for embezzling D26.74 lakh. The fraud was first detected at the Sreeakariyam office.  Office attendant Biju and bill collector Anil were suspended pending inquiry for diverting D5.04 lakh. A similar fraud was reported at  Ulloor and Attipra zonal offices. The staff had reportedly used two challans instead of one while depositing the daily collection at the bank. 



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