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Union councillors on demo over no-confidence motion

Staff Reporter

KARUR: The simmering feud in the Karur Panchayat Union, between the Council Chairperson and the councillors, has left the local body paralysed. The dispute has been going on for more than six months now and the council meetings could not be held as the opposing groups are at loggerheads.

The recent move on Friday to sort out issues , by organizing a peace meet to be presided over by the Karur Revenue Divisional Officer Ashok Kumar, did not take off as the Council Chairperson Valarmathi Chidambaram obtained a stay from the Madras High Court Bench at Madurai against conducting the proceedings.

Following that, councillors cutting across party lines are staging a sit-in protest demonstration since Friday to highlight the need to decide on the no confidence motion against Mrs.Valarmathi Chidambaram.

The Councillors have been accusing Mrs.Valarmathi of fudging records, effecting changes in minutes of the meetings, committing financial irregularities, side stepping tender guidelines and other acts of omission and commission exceeding her brief.

Listing all the grievances, the councillors had on March 2 submitted a memorandum to the District Collector seeking her intervention and to demand action against theChairperson. On August 13, Panchayat Union Commissioner Gopinath circulated a letter stating that a special urgent meeting of the council would be convened on August 20 with the Karur RDO in the chair.

As per schedule Mr. Ashok Kumar arrived to conduct the meeting on Friday but after learning that the Chairperson had secured a stay against the special urgent meeting , the RDO shared the details of the court proceedings with the Councillors and the vice-chairperson Sadasivam.

That drew a loud protest from the councillors and the vice-chairperson who all decided to stage a sit in demonstration at the council hall till their grievances were addressed. The councillors specifically wanted to know the time limit for taking action against the chairperson, what efforts were being taken to revitalize the functioning of the Karur Panchayat Union that has been grounded for the past six months and what was the Chairperson's reply to the allegations levelled against her.

Officials including Mr. Ashok Kumar, Assistant Director (Panchayats) Rajendran, Karur Tahsildar Dharmaraj, DSP Siva Bhaskar and others held talks with the protesting councillors . Though District Collector (in charge) C.Munirathinam held talks with the councillors around the night and assured them to sort out the issue on Monday, the councillors did not pay heed to it.

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