Din in Kerala Assembly over Finance Minister’s remark; Oppn. stages walk out

Remark by Finance Minister Balagopal that a Muslim Students Federation student had kicked to death a college teacher. Appropriation Bill passed amid uproar

Updated - July 10, 2024 06:52 am IST

Published - July 10, 2024 06:47 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal. File

Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal. File | Photo Credit: Mahinsha S.

The Assembly witnessed uproar and a walkout by the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) on July 9 over a remark by Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal that a Muslim Students Federation (MSF) student had kicked to death a college teacher.

Mr. Balagopal mentioned the incident during his reply to the discussion on the Kerala Appropriation Bill, immediately sparking protests from the Opposition Benches.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition P.K. Kunhalikutty demanded an explanation from the Minister on the matter. To this, Minister for Local Self Government M.B. Rajesh replied that he had mentioned the incident in the House a few days ago, with a newspaper report on the matter and the photo of the dead man. At the time, the UDF members had remained silent, he said. The incident, according to him, had occurred during a cluster meeting.

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan accused the Finance Minister of using the Assembly to make a “serious and baseless” allegation. Mr. Balagopal’s accusation did not have the backing of evidence and the remark should be expunged from the Assembly records, he demanded. Mr. Satheesan went on to announce a walkout.

Appropriation Bill passed

The Assembly passed the Kerala Appropriation (No. 2) Bill amid the uproar. The Bill empowers the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund of the State and the grants made in advance by the Assembly with respect to the estimated expenditure for the 2024-2025 fiscal.

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