Demand for salary to councillors riles DMK

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The Greater Chennai Corporation councillors on Saturday started a debate on salary for themselves for better local administration.

Uma Anandan (BJP) on Saturday was the first to demand salary for councillors, claiming that the people’s representatives should be paid for their work.

Deputy Mayor Magesh Kumar said the BJP councillor couldrequest the Centre to amend the statutory provisions to meet her demand.

Councillors pointed out that there were more than 35 lakh representatives of local bodies and recalled the initiative of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to promote local administration and the Amendments made by the government led by P.V. Narasimha Rao.

Row over Hindi

Councillors from various political parties took exception to the imposition of Hindi by the Centre and the ideological opposition of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Dravidian model of development and called for efforts to achieve greater decentralisation of power. After several ruling alliance councillors spoke about Centralisation in decision making, Ms. Anandan said the Central grants to urban local bodies played a key role in infrastructure development.

However, the DMK councillors said the Centre had not released performance grants in the past few years despite getting higher GST revenue from Tamil Nadu than other States.

Row over Hindi

Councillors from various political parties who spoke after the presentation of the Corporation Budget for 2022-23 on Saturday pointed to the imposition of Hindi from the Centre and the ideological opposition to the schemes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the Dravidian model, linking it with the need for more efforts towards decentralisation.

However, the DMK councillors said the Centre had not released performance grants in the past few years but was getting more GST revenue from Tamil Nadu than other States.

When DMK councillors pointed to the imposition of Hindi, Ms. Anandan said: “I don’t know Hindi. We are here to discuss civic issues for residents’ welfare.”

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