Mayor breaks down after Opposition lands a 'punch' on her at Council meet

Mayor breaks down after Opposition lands a 'punch' on her at Council meet

Commotion prevailed in the Council meeting of the Mangaluru City Corporation here on Tuesday when the Opposition BJP members demanded the resignation of Mayor Kavitha Sanil. They accused the Mayor of "assaulting" the wife and child of a watchman attached to her apartment.

The council meeting witnessed acrimonious scenes with the BJP members attempting to assault Congress Corporator A C Vinayraj. They shouted slogans against the Mayor by entering into the well of the House. The meet also witnessed the Mayor breaking down and demanding that the BJP corporators speak the truth.

Mayor Kavitha Sanil asked BJP corporators to speak the truth and invited the Opposition to state the allegations in the presence of the deity in the Kateel Durgaparameshwari Temple where she was ready to deny the same.

"Give me an opportunity to clarify the allegations. Please do not politicise such personal issues. I have neither assaulted the watchman's wife nor punched her child. I am ready to deny your (BJP's) allegations in front of the presiding deity at Kateel Temple. The BJP members should also repeat the allegations against me in the temple. I have the CCTV footage," Kavitha said in tears.

Opposition leader in Council Ganesh Hosabettu accused the Mayor of following "dictatorship" in the last eight months. Mockingly, he said that by punching a watchman's child, Mayor has inaugurated the national-level Karate Championship. This led to exchange of words among the members.

BJP corporators, led by Hosabettu, Roopa D Bangera, Premanand Shetty and others shouted slogans against the Mayor and demanded her resignation.

A woman from Bagalkot had complained to the police alleging that the Mayor had assaulted her and her child recently in her apartment premises. On the other hand, Kavitha too had filed a counter-complaint against the woman and her husband at Barke police station for threatening her nine-year-old daughter.

Senior Corporator Appi appealed to the Opposition to respect the decorum of the council as well as the post of Mayor. Corporator Vinay Raj said that the Mayor has already given a clarification on the issue. The police are investigating the incident. Why did the BJP members take the watchman and his wife to BJP office, instead of the police station if they are fighting for justice for the woman, he asked.

When Vinayraj continued to speak, an Opposition member snatched the agenda copy and threw it. When the Opposition members tried to manhandle Vinayraj, Chief Whip Shashidhar Hegde and former mayor Harinath intervened, which led to further chaos and commotion.

Former mayor Harinath said that, "It is not fair to raise a personal issue in the council meeting. The council meeting should discuss development issues."

Amid the chaos, Mayor directed Chief Whip to read the agenda and get it approved in the council.

Mayor clarifies

Later, speaking to reporters, Mayor Kvaitha Sanil said that it was the watchman's wife who threatened her daughter. "She had chased my daughter on the road for 42 minutes. I have CCTV footage to prove it," she said.

"The BJP is politicising the issue for political gain. They have taken the watchman in the car and have forced him to speak against me. In fact, they also took the woman to the District Government Wenlock Hospital but doctors did not admit her as they did not find any injury on her. My daughter is frightened after the incident," she said.

"I am also a mother. I have not assaulted the child. At least try to find out what my daughter has undergone," she said with tears in her eyes.

"Forget about punching the child, I did not even see the watchman's child when I had visited his house to enquire about the incident. My daughter was traumatised and knocked the door of my neighbour's flat. If I had hit the child or the woman, how could they have come out within a few minutes of me leaving the place," she sought to know.

Protest

Earlier, the BJP councillors and BJP leaders staged a protest outside the Mangaluru City Corporation building demanding the resignation of the Mayor and against the "maladministration" in the Mangaluru City Corporation.

The protesters accused her of assaulting the watchman's wife and child. They also said that the raids conducted by the Mayor against illegal massage parlours and skill game centres are just for publicity. No development works have been taken up in Mangaluru after the Congress came to power, they alleged.

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