KERALA

Assembly resumes sitting today; stormy session likely

NEW BEGINNING: The Legislature Complex gets a fresh coat of paint. Photo: S. Mahinsha  



Special Correspondent

Governor R.L. Bhatia set to deliver policy address in the House

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Assembly resumes its sitting with the policy address of Governor R.L. Bhatia on Friday.

The revised Budget for the current year will be presented to the House on June 23. The election of the Deputy Speaker will take place June 20.

The session is bound to be stormy with the Opposition pressing for the resignation of Public Works Minister P.J. Joseph on charges of corruption.

Though the spectacular victory in the elections and a battered Opposition would give the LDF an upper hand in the debate, quite a number of issues apart from the allegations against a Minister adds to the discomfiture of the ruling Front. The new Government hardly had a honeymoon with controversies erupting one after another.

The Opposition is bound to raise issues such as the sectionalism in the CPI(M), wrangling over portfolios of Ministers and differences between the LDF constituents on various issues. However, the fact that fighting has broken out between the Congress and Kerala Congress (M) in UDF would come handy for the LDF in its retort.

One of the thorny issues that would come before the House during this session is the legislation on self-financing professional colleges. The Bill would specify quotas and fee with a view to control the college managements.

Speaker K. Radhakrishnan told mediapersons on Thursday that the Bill would be presented in the House on June 22 immediately after the three-day discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the Governor for his address. (Before that, the Cabinet would meet specially to approve the draft).

The Speaker said the session would have to be extended by a few days to complete the business at hand. However, the session cannot be prolonged beyond July 5, as about 20 Ordinances would have to be repromulgated after proroguing the House. The Assembly would have no time to consider legislation to replace these Ordinances issued during the UDF rule.

The House would take up the general discussion on the Budget from June 26 to 28, and would pass a Vote on Account on June 29.

The Appropriation Bill would be adopted the next day.