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Kerala: Assembly Adjourned Prematurely, LDF Accuses UDF of Disruptive Actions

Neelambaran A |
More adjournment motions permitted during LDF regime contrary to the claims made by UDF.
Kerala Budget

Image Courtesy: PTI

The budget session of the Kerala Legislative Assembly (KLA) scheduled till March 30 was adjourned prematurely on March 21 due to the continuous interruption by the United Democratic Front (UDF) members. The opposition has been protesting against the Speaker and the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) government for denying permission to bring adjournment motions. 

But, even a shallow look at the numbers speaks otherwise, with four adjournment motions taken up so far during the two years tenure of the present LDF regime since May 2021. Of the 34 adjournment motions in the history of the KLA, 10 have been during the LDF regime since 2016. The KLA has been credited for sitting on more days than other assemblies in 2021.

Another demand of the UDF was the withdrawal of the cases filed against its legislators after the Watch and Ward (W&W) staff sustained injuries during the protest against the Speaker. The UDF has been left red-faced since an MLA was caught on camera calling the speaker spineless, while another senior UDF MLA has rejected being manhandled during the protest.

The LDF has accused the UDF of disrespecting the office of the speaker and violating the precedents of the house. The demand for grants was passed without discussion as the UDF MLAs refused to give up their protest. 


The eighth session of the 15th assembly began on January 23 with the Governor's address and the budget was presented on February 3. The house again convened on February 28 to discuss the demand for grants and was scheduled to sit till March 30. The house was adjourned sine-die on March 21 after unruly scenes disrupted the house. 

The trouble began on March 15 when Congress MLA Uma Thomas moved an adjournment motion seeking discussion on the attack on a 16-year-old female student on March 9 in Thiruvananthapuram. 

The speaker, A N Shamseer denied permission for adjournment, following which the members of the UDF trooped to the well of the house even as the speaker called up the minister for the Public Works Department (PWD) P A Mohammad Riyas to answer questions. Congress MLA Roji M John shouted asking the speaker to show some spine. "Show some spine Speaker. Don't be a slave of Pinarayi Vijayan,” he was heard shouting while moving towards the speaker. 

Rising up, Riyas hit back by saying that the UDF is the one with the 'spine of banana stem'. The Leader of the Opposition (LoP) ridiculed Riyas- who is married to the Chief Minister's daughter, for becoming a minister on management quota, which led to further uproar from the LDF members.  

Riyas joined politics through the Students Federation of India (SFI) and later went on to become the national president of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI). 


What followed was a protest by the UDF in front of the Speaker's office, leading to a commotion between the members and the W&W staff. The opposition even held a parallel session in the well of the house, forcing the speaker to adjourn the house frequently.

The UDF leadership claimed that five of the MLAs were injured, including a fracture to K K Rema, representing the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP). Seven W&W staff were also injured during the commotion and non-bailable cases were filed against the UDF legislators and the W&W staff. 

The claim of UDF that senior MLA and former home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan was manhandled was rejected by Radhakrishnan during an interaction with the media over the phone.

"I went near the Speaker's office when the MLAs were stopped by the W&W staff. I do not subscribe to the claims of being manhandled," he told the News18 channel soon after the melee in the house. 

The minister for industries and law P Rajeev played this audio during a press meeting to reject the allegations of the UDF and accused the opposition of propagating false news. 


The major claim of the UDF was the denial of permission for taking up adjournment motions in the house. But numbers presented by Rajeev in the house speak otherwise. 

"During the last two years of the LDF government, four adjournment motions were taken up. Yearly two adjournment motions were never recorded in the history of the KLA," he said while responding to the allegations of the UDF.

Further, during the LDF regime since 2016, 10 adjournment motions were taken up of the 34 in the history of the house. 

The UDF demanded the speaker not to insist on restrictions while considering adjournment motions, but the 'Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in KLA, 2011' stipulates restrictions.

"The headline of section 52 in the rule book itself is  'restrictions on right to make motion'. The opposition is giving misleading information and insisting not to restrict the motion is incorrect,” Rajeev told the assembly. 

Subsection (iii) of section 52 under chapter 9 of the proceeding says, 'the motion shall be restricted to a specific matter of recent occurrence.'

The opposition had served an adjournment motion on incidents which took place on March 9 and was rejected through a ruling. 

"Another adjournment motion was served on the UDF councillors of Kochi Corporation being denied permission to attend the council. But the UDF gave in writing on boycotting the council meeting. How does an adjournment motion make sense here?" Rajeev questioned. 

The UDF refused to participate in the meeting called by the minister of parliament affairs to break the impasse and continued to disrupt the house despite the efforts of the speaker. 

The LDF accused the UDF of holding a satyagraha inside the house and termed the action of the opposition as unprecedented and of disruptive tendencies. With the house adjourned, the LDF is preparing to expose the actions of the UDF in breaking the traditions and violating norms in the assembly.

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