Thiruvananthapuram: In the wake of Kerala minister’s controversial remark on the Constitution, state Assembly Speaker M.B. Rajesh on Wednesday wound up the day’s session in flat eight minutes.
The sudden adjournment was opposed by the Congress-led Opposition which alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had “escaped” as he was unable to justify his cabinet colleague State Minister for Culture and Fisheries Saji Cherian’s “disrespectful” utterances on the Constitution.
Saji Cherian had, on Sunday, said that the Indian Constitution gives ample scope for “loot” of the people putting the CPI-M in a spot.
Soon after the visuals of Cherian’s “blatant attack” on the Constitution at a party meeting held in Pathanamthitta district became public on Tuesday, the Congress-led opposition and also the BJP in the state launched massive protests demanding his resignation.
Cherian put up a weak defence saying that he did not intend to portray the Constitution in a “poor light” and that his remark has been “misconstrued” and apologised for it.
On Wednesday, the Congress served a notice over the issue seeking an adjournment motion in the Assembly. When the Question Hour began at 9 a.m. Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan wanted the Speaker to suspend Question Hour and take up the leave for the adjournment motion, but Speaker Rajesh refused saying it was against the practice.
Soon sloganeering started and the Speaker in flat eight minutes wound up the day’s session.
Angered by the decision, the opposition raised slogans and rushed to B.R.Ambedkar’s statue in the Assembly compound. After spending a few minutes there, they hit the road.
“Vijayan has run away without answering the very crucial and blatant violation by Cherian. What Cherian has said are the words of Golwalkar, the topmost RSS leader. Incidentally, the Kannur University recently ran into trouble for having a book in their academic syllabus on this leader. Since Cherian has said what the RSS says, he should quit as Minister and from the CPI-M and join the RSS, so he can become a Minister in the Centre. We wish to know if the CPI-M also subscribes to what Cherian has said,” said Satheesan.
Deputy leader of the Opposition P.K.Kunhalikutty said this was a shocking statement by a CPI-M minister-Cherian.
“His statement has come at a time when the entire Opposition in the country is trying to come on a common platform and the statement from Cherian is certainly going to play spoilsport,” said Kunhalikutty.
Senior Congress legislator and former Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala who was to move the adjournment motion said that the adjournment shows the pitiful condition of the CPI-M and Vijayan, as he had to literally run away from the Opposition.
Even though a section in the CPI-M in hushed tones are speaking that Cherian has done a serious crime, none has come out in the open, but the second biggest ally in the ruling Left-CPI, has openly criticised it.
Meanwhile, numerous police complaints, mostly from Congress workers, have been made against Cherian and a probe ordered.
Apparently, a meeting of top brass of CPI-M will take a call on the issue. There are also reports of the national leadership of the party being unhappy, but since Cherian is one of the closest aide to Vijayan, in all likelihood, unless there comes any remark from the court, Vijayan is unlikely to make any move.