As the Tirunelveli Corporation’s special council meeting took place on Friday, the no confidence motion against Mayor P. M. Saravanan, moved by 38 Councillors, could not be passed. This was due to the abstention of the Councillors following last-minute damage control by the DMK high command, resulting in the meeting lacking the required quorum of 44 Councillors. Corporation Commissioner Thakare Shubham Dnyandeorao made this announcement after the meeting, stating that the motion got defeated as a result.
DMK’s Dominance and Discontent
With 55 members in the Tirunelveli Corporation, the DMK holds 45 Councillors, including Mayor Saravanan, with six members from the ruling party’s electoral allies and the remaining four from the AIADMK. The DMK Councillors had various disagreements with Mayor Saravanan on multiple issues, leading to heated arguments in most meetings. This discontent eventually escalated to the submission of complaints to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, requesting the removal of Mayor Saravanan from his post.
Submission of No Confidence Motion Proposal
The dissatisfied Councillors submitted a no confidence motion proposal to Commissioner Thakare Shubham Dnyandeorao on December 6. As a result, the Commissioner announced that a special meeting would be held on January 12 to discuss and vote on the no confidence motion proposal.
Attempts to Pacify Dissent
Minister for Finance and Electricity Thangam Thennarasu intervened to pacify the dissent among the DMK members, yet they remained resolute in their decision to remove Mayor Saravanan. Despite attempts to hold talks and assurance of fulfilling their demands, the members were committed to their cause.
The Failed Meeting and Its Implications
On Friday, Commissioner Thakare Shubham Dnyandeorao convened the council meeting, yet the Councillors failed to turn up, resulting in the meeting’s cancellation due to a lack of quorum. Furthermore, the ‘no confidence motion’ against the Mayor cannot be reintroduced within the council for a year.
Media and Security Restrictions
Notably, journalists and visitors were prohibited from entering the council hall, as indicated in a communication issued through WhatsApp. Security arrangements were also implemented in and around the Corporation premises, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Tirunelveli City, Adharsh Pachera, to maintain order during this tumultuous period.
This series of events underscores the growing rift between the Mayor and the DMK members, ultimately leading to a failed attempt to pass a no confidence motion. The implications of this failed motion on the governance and leadership of Tirunelveli remain to be seen.