Left Democratic Front (LDF) MLAs led by the leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan staged a sathyagraha before the Raj Bhavan here on Saturday urging the Governor not to affix his signature to the Devaswom Ordinance, now before him for his approval.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Achuthanandan said the Kerala was now under “Ordinance Raj.” Without following the proper practice of bringing Bills in the Assembly and getting them passed by the House after discussions, the government was resorting to the issuance of ordinances to get its political agendas executed, he alleged.
He said the Devaswom Ordinance, which would restrict voting rights in the elections to decide the Devaswom Board members to Hindu MLAs who had taken oath “in the name of God,” was clearly intended to prevent many of the LDF MLAs, who had not taken oath “in the name of God” from participating in the voting process. The amendment sought in the Devaswom Board Act through the ordinance was unconstitutional and against High Court orders in previous cases in which the same was agitated. He also said the ordinance was “anti-women” (since it seeks to remove from the Act a stipulation reserving one seat in the Devaswom Board to women).
Addressing the sathyagraha, deputy leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan referred to the ordinances the Oommen Chandy government had issued earlier to “politically take over the control of all the universities in the State.” Democratically elected senates and syndicates in the universities were disbanded using the ordinances so that the government could bring into these bodies people of its choice.