CITIES

Kerala: UDF stages protest sit-in in front of Assembly gate; boycotts proceedings

Thiruvananthapuram: The opposition Congress-UDF members on Thursday boycotted the Kerala Assembly proceedings and staged a sit-in outside the main gate of the House as a mark of protest for denying them permission to move a notice seeking an adjournment motion over the controversial dollar scam case.

They also convened a symbolic “House” outside the Assembly building and presented the adjournment motion notice there as part of the protest.

 

The House witnessed the opposition protest a day after a section of the media reported that the Customs had issued a show-cause notice to the accused in the gold and dollar smuggling case indicating alleged involvement of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijyayan in smuggling dollars abroad.

The Customs notice was reportedly issued based on the alleged statement of the prime accused in the gold and dollar smuggling cases, that Vijayan and former Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan were involved in smuggling foreign currency to the UAE through the officials of its Consulate here.

 

Though the UDF members tried to present a notice for the adjournment motion demanding a discussion over the issue in the House during zero hour, Speaker M B Rajesh denied permission for it saying the matter is sub judice.

Supporting the Speaker, Law Minister P Rajeev also said the opposition tried to present the notice, violating Assembly rules and proceedings.

However, opposition leader V D Satheesan argued that permission had been granted for such notices in the House several times earlier, especially to discuss the topics like Kodakara hawala money heist case, self-financing fees issue and Sabarimala women entry and so on.

 

Saying that it was an opportunity for Vijayan to prove his part if he had not done anything wrong, he also asked where else such a matter could be discussed other than the Assembly.

As the Speaker did not budge to their demand, the opposition boycotted the proceedings and trooped out of the House raising slogans demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister.

They later staged a protest sit-in in front of the main gate of the Assembly building and conducted a symbolic presentation of the adjournment motion there.

The LDF government suffered another setback on Wednesday as the Kerala High Court stayed its order appointing a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to look into any alleged attempt by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to implicate Vijayan in the gold smuggling through diplomatic channels case, saying a parallel inquiry would ‘derail the investigation’ in the matter.

 

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