The Assembly witnessed uproarious scenes on Monday culminating in an Opposition walkout and adoption of a resolution condemning the ‘humiliation' of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and Ministers during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the State on February 11 and 12.
The House adopted the resolution, moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Vijayakumar, after the Opposition walkout protesting what it termed attempts by the treasury benches to drag the Prime Minister into an unnecessary controversy.
Earlier, the House plunged into a pandemonium when Anathalavattom Anandan (CPI-M) made a submission over the issue replying to which the Chief Minister accused the Congress leadership of having adopted a slavish attitude towards the Centre.
The Opposition members rushed to the well of the House and began a heated argument with Speaker K. Radhakrishnan, and the treasury benches retaliated by raising a din as Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy tried to offer clarifications for the allegations made by the government side.
In between, the Chief Minister said he was denied a room in the hotel where the Prime Minister had stayed in Kochi.
Mr. Vijayakumar put it on record that Governor R.S. Gavai was also denied a room in the hotel and had later almost booked a seat in a private flight to return to the State capital without attending the functions in Kochi. Industries Minister Elamaram Karim and Food and Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran complained that they were denied entry to the exhibition hall at BrahMos Aerospace Ltd here just as the Prime Minister reached the place.
The Chief Minister was particularly scathing on the Central security personnel and the Opposition and said Kerala would not put up with a ‘master-slave' relationship. His observation that only Congressmen would put up with such an attitude drew a sharp reaction from the Opposition benches. However, persisting with his attack, Mr. Achuthanandan demanded to know how his photograph got excluded from the advertisements released to the media in connection with the commissioning of the Vallarpadam Container Transshipment Terminal and the new terminal of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. These projects reached fruition only because of the bold and efficient steps taken by the LDF government, he pointed out.
The issue snowballed into a crisis with the Opposition and treasury benches trading charges and seeking apology. Mr. Chandy termed the row unfortunate, particularly since the occasion was the commissioning of two prestigious projects which could have far-reaching impact on the State's development. He said the Chief Minister was not denied room at the hotel and that the Governor's plea that his wife and ADC should also be taken in the Prime Minister's flight to Thiruvananthapuram was acceded to after Dr. Singh's intervention.
In the wake of the allegation that Mr. Achuthanandan was slighted, the Prime Minister called him up on Monday and expressed regret.