Kerala Assembly to take up UDF’s no-confidence motion today

Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan inspecting the arrangements in the Assembly ahead of the one-day session scheduled to be convened on Monday.  

The Opposition’s motion of no confidence against the government in the Assembly on Monday might sharply test the unity of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).

It will also put to trial Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s adeptness in politically countering the charges raised by the Opposition.

The UDF had introduced the motion to highlight the ‘flaws’ of the government ahead of the local body polls in November. However, the move appeared to have made a public spectacle of the fissures in the UDF.

The opposing factions in the Kerala Congress (M) stuck their respective whips on the doors of their legislators at the MLA hostel here, creating some political drama on the eve of the debate.

Earlier, Jose K. Mani said Roshy Augustine and N. Jayaraj, the two KC (M) legislators aligned with his faction, would abstain from voting on the no-trust motion. The dissension in the KC(M) threatened to diminish the numbers of the UDF on the floor of the House on a crucial day.

KC(M) chairperson P.J. Joseph said legislators who defy the party whip would face disciplinary action and lose their seats in the Assembly.

The numbers in the Assembly are in favour of the LDF. The LDF has 90 MLAs and UDF, 44. CPI(M) Independent from Koduvally Karat Rasaq and IUML MLA from Azhikode K.M. Shaji have no vote due to pending court cases challenging their election.

The outcome of the no-confidence motion might be a foregone conclusion. However, the UDF hopes to use it to target the government generally and the office of the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (CMO), specifically.

V.D. Satheeshan, who would table the motion, told The Hindu that he would present a ‘chargesheet’ against the government to highlight its "ill-doings".

Dominant topics

The UAE consulate-linked gold smuggling case, Life Mission-UAE Red Crescent deal, ‘receipt’ of foreign aid by Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel, Adani group’s takeover of the Thiruvananthapuram airport, Sprinklr ‘scam’ and ‘failed’ pandemic prevention strategy are likely to dominate the debate.

The LDF's counter is expected to hinge on the government’s stated achievements and the ‘soft Hindutva’ line toed by the Congress as ‘manifested’ in its welcoming of the laying of the foundation stone for Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The one-day session held under the lengthening shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be rich in political theatre.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 11:07:33 AM |

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