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NEW TEAM:Kochi Mayor Tony Chamminy greeting Bhadra Satish, who was sworn in as the Deputy Mayor of Kochi corporation on Tuesday.
KOCHI: The Kochi corporation council meetings may witness intense political battles if the events that unfolded at the hall on the swearing in ceremony of the Kochi Mayor are any indication.
K.J. Jacob, the CPI (M) parliamentary party leader, fired the first salvo by stating that the “new Mayor was sponsored by a community, which did not augur well with the secular concepts” in his congratulatory speech.
“The caste and communal considerations should not come in the way of development and progress of the city. There may be difference of opinion in your party. You might have also boarded a vessel (the Kochi corporation) carrying treasure troves. But that should not affect the functioning of the corporation,” he said.
“Some persons may raise unjustifiable demands and some others may show lack of discipline. The Corporation should not become a place where any one can come in and walk out anytime. The Mayor should take care of these aspects,” he demanded.
“The Mayor should ensure transparency and order in the functioning of the civic administration. The council should take forward the achievements of the previous council in terms of road development. It should also rectify the errors that have crept in the solid waste management system of Kochi,” he said. In his address, N. Venugopal, the Congress councillor, said that the party brought new faces to head the civic body as part of the programme pioneered by AICC general secretary Rajiv Gandhi. The party will field new faces in the ensuing Assembly election too. The people of Kochi will take back its mark of appreciation for the UDF if it fails to deliver, he said.
Mr. Jacob's comments invited protest from the UDF councillors. Responding to the charges, Congress councillor Leno Jacob said that the party will rally behind the Mayor Tony Chamminy. The CPI (M) leader's comment was unwarranted and didn't suit the occasion, he said.
Later, A.C. Jose, a Congress leader and former Kochi Mayor, told media persons outside the council hall that Mr. Jacob's statements would create undesirable results in Society.
The Congress councillors elected Mr. Chamminy as the Mayor candidate without any caste considerations. Several non-Latin Catholic candidates had assumed chair person's posts in the neighbouring civic bodies, he said.
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