Aksharasree issue: BJP walks out of council

The Aksharasree literacy project dominated the proceedings of the city Corporation council on Wednesday.

Bharatiya Janata Party councillors staged a walkout after Mayor V.K. Prasanth denied their submission to take up the matter ahead of the discussion on the agenda.

The discussion centred around Aksharasree lasted for nearly an hour-and-a-half.

The BJP councillors said a discussion needed to be held on conduct of the survey related to the Aksharasree literacy project. The survey is to be held on Saturday.

BJP councillor V.G. Girikumar demanded that the decision to give food to the hundreds of students and volunteers reaching the wards for the survey be examined, and a discussion be held on the alleged graft in the project before the agenda for the day was taken up.

The Mayor said the issue could be taken up during the discussion on the Education standing committee’s decisions.

However, the BJP members kept protesting against the decision. They shouted slogans and held up placards against the Aksharasree project and demanded that the parking fee levied on MG Road be withdrawn. Finally, they staged a walkout. They also staged a sit-in in front of the Corporation office.

Inside, the Aksharasree project was taken up for discussion by the Education standing committee. A detailed discussion ensued, even as other items were passed in a matter of minutes.

UDF councillors gave their backing for the project, though they did raise objections saying it could have been planned in a better manner. They also called for a discussion with the BJP on the issue so that the survey could be held with the support of all parties.

The Mayor said the Corporation-level launch of the programme would be held on Thursday and the ward-level functions would be held on June 13.

Arrangements made

Arrangements had been made for the survey on Saturday. As it was a people’s project, giving food to two volunteers covering a cluster of 50 houses for the survey should not be a problem, he said.

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