Mangaluru, May 31, 2016: BJP, Bharatiya Janata Party corporators, including Deputy Mayor Sumitra Kariya, walked out of the MCC council meeting on May 30, Monday, following a row on the installation of Jawarhal Nehru’s statue at Nehru Maidan. Opposition Leader Roopa D Bangera said the council has resolved to install the statue despite objection. “I objected to the statue proposal even in a meeting covened by the district in-charge minister recently. But the minister said the BJP is politicising the issue.”
Chief Whip Shashidhar Hegde said the leader of the Opposition in the council has forgotten her responsibility. She is not opposing on her own. She has been directed to oppose the Nehru statue by the higher-ups in her party, he charged. Enraged over the remark, the Opposition members entered into the well of the house. When Mayor Harinath asked all the members to sit in their seats, the members continued to argue about the issue. This led to chaos in the meeting.
When the mayor raised his voice and asked them to sit down in their seats, the Opposition members walked out of the meeting hall and staged a dharna outside the hall. They also raised slogans against the mayor. Even as the meeting continued, the mayor said, “I have no intention to hurt the sentiments of the corporators and I appeal to the protesting members to come back to the meeting hall.” In spite of the repeated appeals, the Opposition members continued their protest till the meeting ended.
After the meeting, the mayor met the protesting members and said, “I had no intention to hurt anyone. I raised my voice to ask the members to get back to their seats. It had no intention to dishonour the corporators. We should work as one unit.”
At one point, even the police entered the council hall. The members demanded who allowed the police to enter the hall. Then, Joint Commissioner Gokuldas Nayak asked the police to leave the hall. Later, the protest was withdrawn.