A special session of the Assembly begins on Tuesday exclusively for transacting legislative business including enactment of Bills to reserve 50 per cent of the elected seats in local self governments for women.
However, the 'zero hour' in the initial days could be stormy as the Opposition is planning to raise issues such as the “reign of goondas and quotation gangs” in the State. The Congress party is staging dharnas at the State and district headquarters on Monday morning alleging nexus between police, goondas and politicians.
Issues related to the SNC Lavalin case, in which the CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan is one of the accused, will also be raised by the Opposition. A controversy had already been generated over how Mr. Vijayan managed to obtain official papers related to Cabinet decisions on the case for challenging the decision of the Governor R.S. Gavai to sanction prosecution of Mr. Vijayan.
Though sitting members, the new Ministers -- P. J. Joseph (Kerala Congress), Jose Thettayil (Janata Dal-S, Gowda faction) and Kadannappally Ramachandran (Congress-S) will be in the House for the first time in their new capacity. The Veerendrakumar faction of the Janata Dal (S) is planning to issue whip to Mr. Jose Thettayil and Mathew T. Thomas, who had declared allegiance to national president Deve Gowda, to follow its line in the Assembly. As the two would ignore the whip, the State unit of the party headed by Mr. Veerendrakumar is sure to demand their disqualification under the Anti-defection Act, giving headaches to the Speaker K. Radhakrishnan.
The Bill to provide for reservation for women will be introduced on Wednesday in the form of amendments to the Panchayat Raj and Municipalities Acts. Besides increasing the reservation from 33 per cent to 50 per cent, the Bills also seek reservation of 50 per cent of the posts such as that of panchayat presidents and municipal chairmen and standing committee chairmen to women. The number of standing committees would be increased and elections to the posts brought under the supervision of State Election Commission.
The House is also to consider Bills to replace various Ordinances. As of now, there are 18 Ordinances needing replacement. The Business Advisory Committee of the House will decide on the priority of Bills to be taken up from Thursday. A new Bill to provide for fine and imprisonment of persons depositing waste materials on roads and in drains and waterways would also be considered by the House.
The session will conclude on September 17.