Berhampur: Congress corporators on Monday boycotted the general body meeting of Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC) after the commissioner turned down their request to call up their fellow corporator R Murli Manohar Rao, who is being grilled by the police on his alleged links with arrested former Sanakhemundi Congress MLA Ramesh Jena, to the meeting.
Reports said the general body meeting began at 11.30 AM to discuss the annual budget of the corporation and the drinking water supply and other issues in the city.
As soon as the meeting began, Congress corporators urged the BMC Mayor and Commissioner to call up Rao to the meeting. They said though Rao is being interrogated by the police on his alleged link with Ramesh Jena, he should be allowed to attend the meeting for at least two hours since it was an important meeting.
But as the BJD and BJP protested the demands of their Congress counterparts, a heated exchange of words ensued between them.
Irate Congress corporators boycotted the meeting after the Mayor and the Commissioner rejected their demands.
“We had requested the Mayor and the Commissioner to allow R Murali Mohan Rao to attend the meeting for two hours. But they rejected our request. Later, we went to the IG to discuss the matter with him. But in his absence, we talked to the SP who agreed to allow Rao to attend the meeting. In spite of the permission the SP, the Commissioner did not allow him in. It seems that the commissioner is acting as per the directive of the ruling party,” Congress corporator B Srinibas Rao told media persons later.
BJD corporator Mamata Bisoi said the meeting was very important as it was scheduled to discuss the budget and the drinking water problems in the city. “But there were no detailed discussions on these issues as most of the corporators left the meeting midway,” she said.
On the other hand, BJP corporator Namita Panda said the meeting had a discussion on drinking water issue, annual budget of BMC and NFSA.
BMC deputy Mayor Jyoshna Nayak said the meeting had a discussion on the drinking water supply, development of roads and disposal of wastes.
Talking about the Congress corporators who boycotted the meeting, she said this should not be taken seriously. “We are like brothers and sisters and should work unitedly,” she averred.
BMC commissioner Manoj Kumar Mohanty also maintained that the meeting discussed the budget, drinking water supply in the city and other issues.