Municipality plunges into protests over CAA

Almost all councillors stage dharna following clashes

Almost the all councillors of Palakkad municipality staged dharnas in front of the municipal office here on Thursday in connection with Wednesday’s clashes among them over the presentation of a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act [CAA].

The protesters were in three blocs. When the ruling BJP councillors protested at the Anjuvilakku junction outside the municipal office compound, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) councillors protested separately inside the compound. The BJP protesters alleged that the Opposition members had attacked municipal chairperson Prameela Sasidharan. BJP parliamentary party leader S.R. Subramanian inaugurated the protest. Apart from Ms. Sasidharan, vice chairman C. Krishnakumar and councillor N. Sivarajan spoke.

Intolerance alleged

UDF chairman N. Ramaswami inaugurated the UDF protest against the belligerent opposition of the ruling BJP and its chairperson Ms. Sasidharan to the presentation of a resolution against the CAA. BJP councillor Sivarajan had torn up the resolution presented by LDF member and public works standing committee chairman Abdul Shukoor. District Congress Committee secretary K. Bhavadas and Indian Union Muslim League municipal leader Abdul Azeez spoke. Mr. Bhavadas said that the BJP was behaving intolerantly both inside and outside the council.

The LDF councillors differed in their protest by gagging themselves. Addressing the protesters, Mr. Abdul Shukoor said that the high-handedness of the BJP would not be allowed. When the entire country was up in arms against the CAA, the councillors could not remain mute spectators, he said.

The stand-off between the BJP and the Opposition over the CAA is feared to affect the ongoing development work within the town. The UDF has threatened not to cooperate until the resolution is allowed to be presented.

Although the BJP is ruling the municipality, it is a minority in the 52-member council. When the BJP has 24 members, the UDF has 18 and the LDF, nine. The Welfare Party has one member. If the resolution is presented, it is most likely to pass as all but 24 BJP members would support it.

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