DMK and AIADMK councillors clash in front of Mayor R. Venkatachalam at the Coimbatore Corporation Council meeting on Wednesday. Resentment over the rumours of children dying because of polio drops found its echo in the Coimbatore Corporation Council on Wednesday, with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) accusing a private television channel of causing panic. As soon as the Council meeting began, than the Deputy Mayor N. Karthik referred to reports in the media that the Corporation fell way short of immunising the targeted number of children during Sunday’s pulse polio drive because of the rumours.
Mr. Karthik said that this was only because of a scroll run in the television channel that a child had died after taking the drops. The accusation led to a clash between the councillors of the DMK and those of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). Leader of the Opposition and DMK member V.N. Udayakumar narrated Sunday’s incidents, including those wherein worried parents frantically flocked to hospitals fearing for the lives of their children. hen Mr. Udayakumar said he agreed with the Deputy Mayor that the whole chaos was caused by the television channel, chaos broke out.
Both sections indulged in slogan shouting even as Mayor R. Venkatachalam (Congress) appealed for calm and asked the members to get back to their seats. He, however, agreed with the DMK members on the charges. When leader of the AIADMK in the Council P. Rajkumar spoke later during Zero Hour, he expressed resentment over this issue being politicised. “We were also involved in allaying the fears among the public that day and in preventing any untoward incident at the Corporation hospitals,” he said Mr. Rajkumar alleged that the reference to Sunday’s incidents was an attempt to divert the attention from the Corporation’s resolution to increase Profession Tax.