Representational Image | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led UDF in Kerala on Thursday boycotted the day's Assembly session over denial of permission to their adjournment motion for the second consecutive day and warned of strong protests in the House if the same was repeated.
Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the state assembly V D Satheesan said that the UDF's decision not to resort to the Left front tactics of climbing onto the Speaker's dais and creating a commotion to disrupt the House, should not be seen as its weakness.
"That is not our way. We have other means of strong protests. Presently, we are deciding to boycott today's session without disrupting the House," he said and thereafter, the opposition walked out of the House.
The day's session also witnessed heated arguments between the Speaker and the LoP over denial of permission for an adjournment motion moved by the UDF.
The opposition alleged that the Speaker was helping the ruling Left front in Kerala to run away from issues by denying, for the second consecutive day, permission for the adjournment motions moved by the UDF.
Protesting against the denial of permission for the adjournment motion moved to discuss the salary issue of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees, several UDF MLAs trooped into the well of the House and shouted slogans before the Speaker's dais.
Unperturbed by the shouting and sloganeering by the opposition, Speaker A N Shamseer directed the legislative business of the House to continue and at the same time requested the UDF MLAs to return to their seats.
When permission for the adjournment motion was denied right at the outset, Satheesan said, "You (Speaker) are for the second day running denying, without any reason, the opposition right to raise Rule 50 notice for adjournment.
"This is the state legislature and not the CPI(M) state committee. You can do whatever you want to in the CPI(M) state committee."
The LoP further said the Speaker was expected to protect the opposition right to raise adjournment motions, but "you are helping the state government to run away from the issues we are trying to raise in the House."
"We strongly object to it," he added.
Responding to the allegations, the Speaker pointed out that he had quoted Rule 52 (3) on Wednesday while denying permission for the adjournment motion to discuss the issue of alleged mismanagement in collection of GST and other taxes by the state government.
"Unfortunately, you (Satheesan) failed to notice the Rule quoted by the Chair and wrongly briefed the media that no Rule was quoted. You misled the House by such statements.
"That was an incorrect statement by you before the media and not expected from such a senior and experienced statesman like you," the Speaker said.
He further clarified that the adjournment motion of Thursday regarding KSRTC salary payments was denied permission under Rule 52 (7) as the issue was under consideration of the Kerala High Court which is expected to pass orders on it later this month.
Moreover, the issue was raised during the question hour and answered by the State Road Transport Minister Antony Raju, the Speaker said.
To this, Satheesan pointed to previous rulings of the Chair that irrespective of whether a question or submission has been raised or attention has been called regarding an issue, the same can be part of the adjournment motion.
"We will not allow denial of our rights in the House," the LoP said.
The opposition shouted slogans -- "it is shameful" and "permit Rule 50 notice" -- for over half an hour in the House, as the legislative business progressed, before walking out. PTI