Speaker G. Karthikeyan adjourned the Assembly for the day as slogan-shouting Opposition members occupied the well of the House.
Turmoil over the sensational ‘solar scam’ led to an early end to the proceedings of the Kerala Assembly on Monday even as Opposition activists clashed with the police outside the House.
Speaker G. Karthikeyan adjourned the Assembly for the day after rushing through the day’s curtailed business. Earlier, he had suspended the proceedings for nearly an hour when the slogan-shouting Opposition members occupied the well of the House.
The Opposition uproar continued on resumption as well. Once it became clear that the House cannot transact normal business in the face of loud Opposition sloganeering, the Speaker first curtailed the business and then rushed through the financial business to declare an early end to the day’s sitting.
The zero hour began with the Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) seeking adjournment of the proceedings to discuss the ‘solar scam’. The Opposition members invaded the well of the House with slogans on failing in their attempt to raise the discussion.
Amidst the din, Speaker G.Karthikeyan adjourned the proceedings. Although the House reassembled about 55 minutes later, the Opposition members once again rushed into the well of the House, making it impossible for the House to function normally.
The Opposition members began raising slogans and rushed into the well not satisfied with responses —given by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan — to their allegation that the government was trying to limit the case to just a few persons and keep the Chief Minister’s office out of its purview.
Earlier, seeking leave for the adjournment motion, CPI(M) deputy legislature party leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the government had attempted to shield the accused all along. Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan alleged that members of the Chief Minister’s family had links with the main players in the scam. The government was now talking about a CBI investigation only to save the Chief Minister. Why was the government afraid of a judicial inquiry, he asked, and reiterated the Opposition demand for the Chief Minister’s resignation.
Responding to the Opposition motion amidst a loud uproar, the Chief Minister said Sreedharan Nair, one of the complainants against the ‘solar scam’ accused, had met him twice, but not in connection with the ‘solar scam’. Mr. Nair had met him as part of a delegation of quarry owners to communicate their grievances. Mr. Nair had never met him alone, the Chief Minister asserted.
The Home Minister said the government was ready for any type of inquiry and there was no question of the government interfering with the ongoing investigation into the ‘solar scam’.
Outside the House, police opened water cannons and fired teargas shells when marches by Opposition women and youth activists turned violent. There was also a skirmish between AIYF and Youth Congress activists near the Opposition Leader’s official residence following the Youth Congress activists’ attempt to move close to the Opposition Leader’s house.
Keywords: solar scam kerala, Kerala Assembly adjournment, Kerala Assembly Speaker G. Karthikeyan, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Kerala Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, thiruvananthapuram police activists clash