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KL This Week: Governor Criticised for Trimming Policy Address in Assembly

Neelambaran A |
NewsClick brings you a round-up of the key developments from across Kerala during the week.
KL This Week

NewsClick brings you a round-up of the key developments from across Kerala during the week, including the controversy over the Governor reading only the last paragraph of the Policy Address at the beginning of the Assembly session, a tractor rally by the farmers organisations on January 26, a protest by the All India Gig Workers Union (AIGWU), and the screening of 'Ram Ke Naam' by student and youth organisations.


The Budget session of the Kerala Legislative Assembly (KLA), the tenth session of the 15th Assembly, began controversially on January 25, with Governor Arif Mohammad Khan deciding to read only the last paragraph of the 61-page-long policy address despite approving the address well in advance. The address extended for a mere 1.15 minutes. The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) leaders criticised the Governor's action, though such an act can be considered as the presentation of the policy address.

The United Democratic Front (UDF) in opposition also accused the Governor of disrespecting the Assembly. The ministers and elected members of the LDF boycotted the high tea arranged by the Governor on Republic Day. The Budget is set to be presented on February 5 by Finance Minister K N Balagopal, and the Assembly session is expected to continue until March 27 for a 37-day session.

Meanwhile, the Students Federation of India (SFI) continued its black flag protests against the Governor for overlooking the elected government and holding onto the Bills passed by the Assembly for several months without any action. The Governor even sat at a roadside shop demanding that the police file a case against the SFI members for holding democratic protests.


The Samyuktha Karshaka Samithi (a forum of 11 farmers' organisations) in Kerala held tractor rallies in all 14 districts on January 26 as part of the national-level agitation against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led central government. The kisan unions continue to hold the BJP government accountable for the crisis faced by the farmers, including the non-implementation of the promises made at the end of the historic farmers' struggle and the failure in ensuring Minimum Support Price (MSP) for produce.

KL This Week

At the national level, the SKM has been demanding compensation for the farmers who lost their lives during the year-long struggle and the arrest of the minister and his associates for the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. The tractor rallies and marches were taken out in district headquarters by the farmers' unions.


The AIGWU held a rally and dharna in front of the Secretariat, demanding social welfare measures for the gig workers across the state. The organisation has been raising issues of the exploitation of workers, by paying low wages and making them work for low monetary returns under the guise of considering them as delivery partners. The union has been demanding the state government frame an exclusive policy for the gig workers employed by food and goods delivery corporates. The workers have urged the respective governments to extend social welfare measures, welfare pensions, employment state insurance (ESI), and employees provident fund (EPF) to ensure a safe working wage and future for the workers.

KL This Week

Workers of the AIAWU affiliated with the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) held a dharna.


The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) screened a documentary in several areas across Kerala, produced by renowned activist and filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, ‘Ram Ke Naam’ following the consecration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The youth organisation decided to screen the film after the Sangh Parivar organisations made a hue and cry about the construction of the Ram Mandir.

The DYFI and SFI put up banners in public places and education campuses reminding them about the demolition of the Babri Masjid by the Kar Sevaks. The DYFI thwarted the attempts of the Sangh Parivar outfits, which attempted to block the screening in front of the K R Narayanan National Institute of Visual Sciences, and successfully screened the documentary.

KL This Week

DYFI Thiruvananthapuram district committee screened the ‘Ram Ke Naam’ documentary at several places across the district.


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