UDF disrupts House; Kerala Assembly rushes through business and adjourns amidst uproar

The uproar from UDF came after Speaker did not allow LoP to continue with his allegations against state Food and Supplies Minister GR Anil.


Published Feb 15, 2024 | 7:07 PMUpdatedFeb 15, 2024 | 7:07 PM

The Congress-led Opposition staged a walkout after Speaker AN Shamseer denied permission to take up the matter for discussion during zero hour. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Kerala Assembly on Thursday, 15 February, saw the Opposition UDF disrupting the House proceedings by holding up a banner and placards, accusing the Left government of being “looters”, in front of the Speaker’s dais which prompted him to rush through the legislative and other business quickly.

The uproar from the Congress-led UDF came after Speaker AN Shamseer did not allow Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly VD Satheesan to continue with his allegations against state Food and Supplies Minister GR Anil.

Satheesan initially submitted that the Minister insulted the House by announcing to reporters outside the Assembly about the government’s new pricing mechanism for SupplyCo when the issue was being discussed in the House.

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Allegations against government

The Opposition leader also claimed that the Left Front came to power by promising there would not be any hike in prices of daily essentials and alleged that this promise has now been violated by the government and demanded that its decision regarding the new pricing mechanism be withdrawn.

Anil refuted the allegations and said that the government has actually increased the subsidy on 13 daily essentials sold through SupplyCo from 26 percent to 35 percent.

He also said when some reporters sought clarification regarding some news reports on the issue, he had answered them, but other than that he had not made any announcements.

As Satheesan began countering the minister’s contentions by claiming that they were not true, the Speaker cut him short saying that the Chair can only believe the Minister who has said that there has been no price hike, only an increase in subsidy and that he has not insulted the House.

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UDF MLAs disrupt proceedings

As the Speaker began to move on to the next submissions, many UDF MLAs trooped into the well of the House and stood before the Speaker’s dais holding up placards which accused the government of being looters and also held up a banner — Kerala looted. PV and company —which obscured Shamseer’s view.

Subsequently, several MLAs of the ruling front also got up from their seats and stood on the fringes of the well of the House and shouted at the opposition to resume their seats.

As the shouts from the opposition continued, even after the LDF MLAs went back, the House rushed through the remaining legislative and financial business and then the Speaker adjourned the Assembly sine die.

The House passed the Vote on Account, the Kerala Finance Bill, 2024, the Kerala Appropriation Bill, 2024 and Kerala Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 2024 without any discussion as the opposition remained in the well of the House shouting slogans.

Before adjourning the House sine die (indefinitely), the Speaker also read out a summary of the business conducted by the House during the 10th session of the 15th Kerala Legislative Assembly,

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)