On March 13, Kerala Legislative Assembly witnessed the most shameful scenes in the legislative history of the country. CPM-led Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) was determined not to permit Finance Minister KM Mani, infamous for alleged Bar Bribery Case and leaking of the budget, to present the budget. Congress-led ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) was in favour of Mani’s presentation and the floor of the House turned to be the venue of the worst sort of pandemonium.
The presentation of the budget was in the midst of physical fights between LDF and UDF MLAs. UDF men protected FM from the attack of LDF men. When Speaker adjourned the House for the day, seven LDF MLAs were taken to hospital.
Most of the LDF women MLAs fell down in the fight. Some of them alleged that UDF men sexually harassed them. The UDF male members alleged that the women attacked them when they tried to stop them from attacking CM, FM and other ministers.
Since FM had to go back on his earlier declaration that he would come from his official residence. On March 13 morning, BJYM terminated their blockade. LDF leaders claimed that their agitation was successful; Mani had to hide in the legislature complex. But, LDF agitators went for blatant anarchy. They attacked and burned the police vehicles and fought with the police force. It followed water cannon, tear gas and lathi charge. Leader of the Opposition had earlier requested the Governor to declare the budget null and void.
Muslim League invades SSLC Question Papers
Kerala’s education department, presided by Muslim League is in news for Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SLCC) examination’s Social Science and Mathematics question papers which bear Islamic religious symbol–Crescent and Star. Students and their parents were taken by surprise when they got the Social Science question paper on March 16 and same for Mathematics paper on March 17. Last year an education ministry circular was circulated asking the teachers to wear green blouse for participating in a procession on a particular occasion. When opposition mounted from Sangh parivar organisations, minister came up with a strange alibi that the circular was issued sans his knowledge hence it was a clerical error.
Governor asked the government to take strict action against those who misbehaved in the House. These sorts of situation should not be repeated. He said, the incidents are so serious that they can be reported to the President as per the Article 356 of the Constitution. Governor reached the conclusion after going through the reports submitted by the Speaker and the Assembly Secretary and after watching the visuals of the messy scenes. BJP leader MT Ramesh told Organiser that since the House was not in session as per the rules, this budget presentation should be cancelled. He told the media in a lighter vein it is the most shameful drama staged by both LDF and UDF.
Senior BJP leader and veteranlawyer Advocate PS Sreedharan Pillai, requested the Governor to dissolve the House in the wake of the constitutional crisis and clamp presidential rule in the State. Most of the Keralites believe that government should have avoided this ridiculous showdown by deputising another minister to present the budget. They are fed up with both UDF and LDF and their secret understanding to cheat the electorate. Article 356 will be an apt lesson for both outfits.
—T Satisan from Kochi