CAA conundrum may reflect in budget session

As Governor-government stand-off continues

The rift between the State government and Governor Arif Mohammad Khan over the State moving the Supreme Court against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is likely to resonate in the budget session of the Assembly beginning January 30.

The Cabinet on Wednesday is likely to approve the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government’s policy address to be delivered at the Assembly and forward it for Mr. Khan’s clearance. If the present mood in the State on the CAA is any indication, the sentiment shared by the government and the Opposition on the issue may get reflected in the address.

Sources familiar with legislature procedures told The Hindu that even if Mr. Khan decides to skip the references on the CAA, it may not cause an embarrassment to the government, since such instances had occurred in the Kerala and West Bengal Assembly earlier.

Since the Assembly is moving to a paperless e-platform, the pages being read by the Governor would figure on the computer screens of the members.

Whether the Governor reads the full address or skips certain portions, former Speakers had ruled that only the complete text of the address circulated among the members would be deemed as the government’s policy.

Hence, if Mr. Khan refuses to read references to the CAA, it would not put the government in a spot, sources say.

But any show of protest in the Assembly against Mr. Khan from the Opposition when he arrives to deliver the address may stand out as a jarring note.

Balan’s stand

A thaw in the relations has become imperative for both sides, especially since Law Minister A.K. Balan has been repeatedly clarifying that the government is not on a confrontational course.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has been trying to maintain a placatory tone to prevent the wrangling from aggravating into a deep crisis.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 10:18:33 PM |

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