Kerala

Kerala Speaker censures four MLAs for unruly behaviour

Kerala Assembly Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan.

Kerala Assembly Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan.   | Photo Credit: S. Gopakumar

more-in

The legislators had on Wednesday rushed to the Speaker’s dais while Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala was speaking on a motion to adjourn the usual business of the House to discuss the previous day’s police action that resulted in injuries to several Congress workers

Kerala Legislative Assembly Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan on Thursday “censured” four Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) legislators for unruly behaviour.

He said Congress legislators Roji M. John, Eldos. P. Kunnapally, I.C. Balakrishnan and Anwar Sadat of the Congress were guilty of misconduct and penalised as per provision 53 of the rules governing the conduct of members in the House.

In his ruling, Mr. Sreeramakrishnan said the legislators had on Wednesday rushed to the Speaker’s dais while the Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala was speaking on a motion to adjourn the usual business of the House to discuss the previous day’s police action that resulted in injuries to several Congress workers, including Shafi Parambil, MLA.

The Speaker said the members had trooped into the well of the House, raised slogans against the Chair and climbed on to the Speaker’s dais to create an “unwarranted pandemonium”. He was constrained to suspend the business of the House for nearly an hour.

The Assembly had witnessed democratic protests in the pasts. But the behaviour of the Opposition members on Wednesday had crossed a line. Mr. Sreemakarishnan said “collective wisdom and precedent” dictated that the Chair act decisively to uphold the dignity of the House.

He said Parliamentary party leaders, including O. Rajagopal, the sole member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, had demanded action against the Opposition legislators.

The Opposition greeted the Speaker’s pronouncement with cries of protest, and they trooped into the well of the House raising slogans against the Chair.

They demanded to know whether Mr. Rajagopal had replaced Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as the leader of the House.

The Opposition said the Speaker behaved as if he was an appendage of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

‘Double standards’

The members held aloft newspaper pictures showing Mr. Sivaramakrishnan protesting on the Speaker’s dais when he was in the Opposition in March 2015.

They said the Speaker had employed “double standards” to deal with the Opposition and those now in the ruling front.

Mr. Chennithala said Mr. Sivaramakrishnan had gone back on his word given at a reconciliatory meeting of parliamentary party leaders the previous day that any action would be by consensus. However, the Chair had acted arbitrarily.

He said the Opposition felt abandoned by the Speaker, who was the guardian of lawmakers irrespective of their political leanings. He remained unmoved by the plight of Mr. Shafi, who was “brutalised” by the police during a protest march the previous day.

Mr. Sreeramakrishnan said he had visited the MLA at the hospital. He said a “censure” was the least of penalties for unruly behaviour and the Opposition had no cause for complaint. The Chair had acted with moderation.

The UDF legislators trooped out of the House and raised slogans against the Speaker. They continued their protest outside the Assembly hall.

Earlier, the Opposition staged a walkout to protest Mr. Vijayan’s unwillingness to make a statement in the House about the police “attack” on Mr. Shafi.

The House passed by voice vote a motion for considering the further stages of the Kerala Metropolitan Transport Authority Bill, 2018 and Kerala Farmer’s Welfare Fund Bill, 2018, as reported by the Select Committee.

The Assembly later adjourned sine die.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics Kerala
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 11:05:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-speaker-censures-four-mlas-for-unruly-behaviour/article30036441.ece

Next Story