The members of the Opposition and the ruling front came close to fisticuffs in the Assembly on Thursday when Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan began his response to a notice for another adjournment motion over the solar scam, which had been rocking the House since June 13.
The members rushed into the well of the House shouting challenging remarks at one another and for nearly five minutes, it was an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation there. Senior leaders prevented them from coming into physical contact. Speaker G. Karthikeyan temporarily adjourned the proceedings to let the tempers cool down.
The House reassembled an hour and a half later, but the Speaker rushed through the financial business listed for the day since another confrontation began to build up. He adjourned the Assembly till Monday following a resolution from the Chief Minister because of the monsoon calamities now being reported from all parts of the State.
The Speaker declared the resolution unanimously passed.
The question hour , with which each day’s session begins at 8.30 a.m., was eventless on Thursday.
The controversy came back into the House riding on the back of the notice moved by P. Sreeramakrishnan of the CPI(M) as soon as the zero hour began at 9.30 a.m.
He sought leave to discuss certain fresh information that had come to the surface, indicating the role of the Chief Minister’s office in the scam.
The Speaker said the rules and procedures relating to Assembly proceedings did not allow the same topic to be brought into the House repeatedly through adjournment motions.
The Home Minister, responding to the notice, began by stating that he was willing to speak.
“But my reply should not lead to some people wanting to slap my face,” he said, referring to a remark Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan had made on television channels on Thursday. He said he had no objection to anyone expressing a desire to slap him on the face since such a statement was indicative of the culture of the person concerned. This remark from the Home Minister ignited the confrontation.