Accusing Kerala Assembly Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan of having an “RSS agenda”, the Congress-led opposition on Thursday was up in arms which led to protests and the Speaker rushed through the listed business of the day.
Thursday was the last day of the present session and the opposition was in protest mode right from the start of Question Hour and was demanding action against certain police officials who had thrashed Congress legislator Shafi Parambil who was roughed up by the police on Tuesday when he was trying to calm down activists of the student wing of the Congress – the Kerala Students Union (KSU) – who were on a protest before the Assembly.
After boycotting the hour-long Question Hour, the opposition returned for the Zero Hour and here also it was a war of words between the Speaker and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala after the Speaker announced that he was censuring four Congress legislators – Roji John, Eldos Abraham, I.C. Balakrishnan and Anwar Sadath for entering the Speaker’s dais on Wednesday while they were on a protest in the well of the House.
Objecting to the censuring, Chennithala said that at a leader’s meeting it was decided that the Speaker will take a decision after speaking to all.
“And now you have taken an arbitrary decision of censuring. This is not acceptable,” said Chennithala.
Soon the opposition legislators started shouting slogans against the Speaker for going forward with it as it was the lone BJP legislator O. Rajagopal who demanded strict action against the legislators and called the speaker an “agent of the RSS”.
But the Speaker said there is no need of twisting things and getting agitated and refused to be cowed down by the sloganeering.
Later speaking to the media outside the Assembly, Chennithala said that how can the speaker change his words and this has been done after Rajagopal demanded tough action and they cannot be a party to a decision which was recommended by Rajagopal.
Incidentally, Rajagopal had cast his vote for Sreeramakrishnan at the time of the election of the Speaker in 2016 when he defeated the Congress candidate.