TAMIL NADU

Nine Congress MLAs resign from Assembly

Resignations accepted; all of them join National Congress (Indira)

Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ending uncertainties that lasted several months, nine Congress MLAs owing allegiance to the newly formed National Congress (Indira) resigned their membership of the House on Tuesday. In the process, they also created history, for such a collective resignation by MLAs is taking place for the first time in Kerala.

The nine MLAs were: M. P. Gangadharan (Ponnani), P. Sankaran (Koyilandy), Shobhana George (Chenagannur), Malethu Sarala Devi (Aranmula), Radha Raghavan (North Wayanad), T.V. Chandramohan (Kunnamkulam), D. Sugathan (Ambalappuzha), M. A. Chandrasekharan (Vadakkekara) and N. D. Appachan (Sultan Bathery). They came walking to the Legislature Complex from the nearby MLA Hostel, accompanied by a host of party workers, shouting slogans in support of the NC (I). They had to wait for nearly 10 minutes for the arrival of Speaker Therambil Ramakrishnan at his chamber at 8 a.m.

It was Ms. George who first handed over her resignation letter to the Speaker. The others soon followed. The resignation letters were treated as having been accepted. The senior-most among them, Mr. Gangadharan thanked the Speaker for all the support given to them in their capacity as members of the legislature. The Speaker, then, offered them tea.It was all over in 15 minutes. The `former legislators,' before leaving the Speaker's chamber, sought his permission to hold a press conference in the media centre of the Legislature Complex. He readily obliged on the condition that the press conference should be over before 8.30 a.m. when the meeting of the House was to begin for the day. Conspicuous by their presence on the occasion were T. M. Jacob and Johny Nelloore, both MLAS of the Kerala Congress (Jacob).

At the press conference, the former MLAs accused the UDF Government of ``ruining the State.'' The Government was a failure on all fronts. Agriculture, industry, education, public health and all such vital sectors were facing utter crisis. The law and order machinery had broken down as never before and corruption had become the order of the day. Under these circumstances, they felt it ``highly unethical'' to support "such a Government" and the only option before them was to quit the House rather than be party to all the ``misdeeds'' of the ruling Front, they maintained.

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