WhatsApp hartal: 85 cases charged, 1595 persons arrested
Thiruvananthapuram: The 11th session of the Kerala Assembly began here on Monday at 9 am. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed that 85 criminal cases have been registered and 1595 persons have been arrested in connection with the WhatsApp hartal issue.
However, he did not answer the question raised by P.T. Thomas MLA that how many cases have been registered against people who posted on Facebook against the chief minister. The chief minister responded that both are different incidents and that he could answer them if asked seperately.
Kuttiady MLA Parakkal Abdulla was seen wearing a mask and gloves in the assembly in order to bring the Nipah virus threat to the attention of the House. Health minister condemned his act calling it an attempt to belittle a serious issue.
Newly elected MLA Saji Cheriyan, who won by 20,956 votes over his nearest rival D Vijayakumar (Congress), was sworn in after the question hour session today.
It is the first assembly session after the much-hyped Chengannur by-poll, which the ruling CPI(M) retained with a huge majority, beating the opposition Congress and BJP.
While members of CPI(M)-led LDF would come to the House with added confidence following the by-poll victory, the opposition Congress-led UDF MLAs are expected to take up a host of issues, including the recent honour killing incident and alleged police inaction over it.
The by-poll was necessitated due to the death of sitting member K K Ramachandran Nair (CPI-M) in January this year. Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan said 17 ordinances would come up for consideration during the 12-day-long session.
The Kerala Municipality (amendment) Bill, 2018, the Kerala Panchayat Raj (amendment) Bill, 2018, Sri Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit (amendment) Bill, 2018, Kerala University (amendment) Bill, 2018 are among the six bills that would be considered in the first two days.
The discussion and voting on the supplementary demands for grants for 2018-19 would be held on June 13, Sreeramakrishnan told reporters here on Saturday. As per the schedule, June 14 and 15 would be holidays and the session would conclude on June 21, he said.
As part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Assembly, a six month 'festival of democracy', comprising meetings of legislators and conferences, would be held from July, the Speaker added.
(With inputs from PTI)