GROWING RESENTMENT among Mayor-in-Council (MiC) members at being kept in the dark about meeting timings and items on the agenda boiled over yesterday with five-time corporator Lalit Porwal voicing his protest on the matter.
Porwal is learnt to have demanded an explanation from Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma as to why he was not informed of the meeting in advance.
He also queried why the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) administration had dispensed with the practice of issuing an agenda for MiC meeting as was being done until a few months ago.
“Getting a copy of the agenda helps us prepare for the meeting. Why, then, it is not made available to us”, demanded an irate Porwal.
Instead of answering the queries verbally, however, the Municipal Commissioner indulged in a bit of pantomime, nodding his head in the direction of Mayor Dr Uma Shashi Sharma as if to say, “It was her idea”.
At this point the Mayor intervened to soothe the MiC member’s ruffled feathers declaring that no formal agenda was issued “as the meeting was convened only to approve tenders and other routine matters”. This is the third time that lack of a typed agenda has aroused an MiC member’s displeasure. Less than two months ago in-charge GAD Lal Bahadur Verma and building Permission Chandu Shinde had also protested the point.
The difference, though, is that while the last named are followers of the anti-Mayor camp headed by PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya, Porwal is known to be close to Dr Sharma.
Although the missing agenda has elicited the maximum protests other things, too, have changed at MiC meetings during the last few months.
The Speaker, traditionally a regular fixture at the mayoral council meets, is no longer invited to these deliberations. Ever since Speaker Shankar Lalwani and Mayor Dr Uma Shashi Sharma had a pow-wow in public, the former has been kept out of the MiC meets. The Speaker, in fact, had even written a letter to Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma about being ignored but to no avail.
Perhaps the most surprising change is the recent trend to hold the meetings on Sundays and other holidays. The last three MiC meetings have all taken place on days the Corporation was officially closed for business.
Though both the Mayor and the Commissioner dismiss the suggestion, the general feeling among scribes is that this is being done to keep the pressmen at bay.