LDF protest against Chandy, boycott Guv’s address

SansadTV Bureau

Oommen_Chandy2Kerala Assembly saw a stormy start on Friday. CPI(M)-led LDF Opposition members repeatedly disrupted Governor P Sathasivam’s address in the Assembly and finally boycotted it.

An angry Sathasivam, who is also a former Chief Justice of India, chided the protesting members and asked them to “sit quiet or leave the House”.

LDF members raised slogans during the Governor’s customary address demanding the resignation of CM Oommen Chandy and some other cabinet ministers who are facing bribery allegations in the bar and solar scams.

As soon as the Governor began his address, CPI(M) veteran VS Achuthanandan stood up and said the government was ‘neck deep’ in corruption and an investigation against them was going on and wanted the Governor to intervene.

“You have raised your democratic protest. You are opposing this government. That is enough. You should allow me to do my constitutional duty. I am noting all your objections,” said the Governor to the protesting members.

“The entire nation is watching. People are noting your objection… I think there is some limit. Beyond a point, it cannot be tolerated,” an angry Sathasivam said while addressing Achuthanandan.

This is probably the first time that the Governor has chided the Opposition for interrupting his address. During similar instances earlier, the Governors would either cut short their address or place it on the table of the House, which is taken as read.

As the protest continued, a determined Sathasivam said, “I have full energy and I will read it slowly.”

Seeing no let-up in the sloganeering, the Governor said, “I am aware whatever protest you are doing is not against me, but against the government.”

However, after a while the Opposition members trooped out of the House raising slogans against the government and CM Chandy.

The Governor took over two-and-half-hours to complete his 78-page address in which he focused on the achievements of the five year rule of the UDF government after LDF boycotted it.

The Governor described the 5-year-rule of the Chandy government as the ‘golden age of opportunities,’ and said it had ensured the realisation of some of the major infrastructure projects of the state.

The LDF had plans to intensify their agitation against the UDF government by protesting inside the Assembly. Earlier, he also requested the Governor to abstain from making his address.

The 14-day Assembly session is politically significant as it is the last session of the 13th Kerala Assembly before the state goes to the polls in about two months.

(With inputs from PTI)