Unusual scene in Kerala Assembly as Guv raps Oppn

LDF legislators walk out of the House

Unusual scene in Kerala Assembly as Guv raps Oppn
The final session of the 13th Kerala Legislative Assembly, which commenced on Friday, witnessed very unusual event of a governor reprimanding the Opposition inside the House for trying to disrupt his speech.

The incident happened after opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) MLAs boycotted Governor P Sathasivam’s policy address. The governor said their protest can’t stop him from exercising his Constitutional duty.

The Opposition legislators were demanding resignation of corruption scandal-hit Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Excise Minister K Babu and Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed.

Before Sathasivam’s address, Leader of the Opposition V S Achuthanandan made a statement explaining the opposition’s stand even as LDF legislators – many carrying banners seeking expulsion of the Congress ministers facing charges in the bar bribery and solar scams – continued to raise slogans against the government.

Sathasivam told Achuthanandan that the opposition’s views had already reached people who were watching the proceedings but he was “Constitutionally bound” to deliver the address.

Request to governor
The LDF had, earlier, requested the governor to not to deliver the address on behalf of a “corrupt” government. Sathasivam said he was aware that the opposition was not against him but assured he had the “energy” for the address and he would “read slowly”.

As the opposition legislators continued to protest, the Governor said he would not tolerate the disruption further.

“Either you sit quiet or leave the House. It’s up to you,” he said. “Please read the Constitution,” he told the protesting MLAs.

The opposition MLAs, palpably surprised by the Governor’s response, left the House and resumed the protest outside of the Assembly complex.

Veteran journalist K G Parameswaran Nair, who has covered proceedings of the State Legislative Assembly for more than three decades, said the Governor’s action was “unusual” but lauded him for the poise with which he handled the situation.

“You would expect a governor to either wait for the protest to end or deliver the address while the protest is still on. This was different… He was firm without appearing to be passing an order,” he said.The CPM-led opposition has given an indication of protests lined up during the session which will also see Chandy present the state budget. K M Mani resigned as Finance Minister last year, in the wake of bar bribery charges.
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