The smouldering ice cream parlour case returned to the Kerala Assembly in a big way on Tuesday with CPI(M) and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) members taking on each other over the issue, forcing adjournment of the House for over half-an-hour.

The angry exchange between the two sides which, for a brief while appeared likely to get out of hand, took place when IUML members Abdurahiman Randathani and K. Muhammedunni Haji took objection to CPI(M) member K. K. Shylaja’s reference to former Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikkutty in connection with the ice cream parlour case.

This enraged V. Sivan Kutty, sitting next to Ms. Shyalaja. The heated exchanges between him and the IUML members soon culminated in his moving towards the Opposition benches, closely followed by his party colleague Babu M. Palissery.

With the IUML members also moving out of their seats, the situation appeared ripe for a physical exchange. However, Port and Youth Affairs Minister V. Surendran Pillai jumped between the two sides averting any such eventuality.

Deputy Speaker Jose Baby’s appeals for calm fell on deaf ears as more members from both the sides began converging at the scene of action.

Speaker K. Radhakrishnan, who rushed back to the House on hearing the commotion, immediately announced adjournment of the House. He later held discussions with party leaders on both the sides and expunged Ms. Shyalaja’s contentious observation on Mr. Kunhalikkutty when the House resumed its sitting. He also advised the members to observe parliamentary decorum and reminded them that spats did not behove good parliamentary behaviour.

Later, replying to Ms. Shyalaja’s call attention motion on the issue, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that the government had already swung into action in the light of revelations made by a relative of Mr. Kunhalikkutty and the media about the way the ice cream parlour case was sought to be scuttled through payment of huge sums of money and by influencing judges.

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