Chaos in Kerala assembly on first day of session

June 22nd, 2009 - 3:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananathapuram, June 22 (IANS) The opposition disrupted proceedings on the first day of the Kerala assembly’s new session Monday, demanding that Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan either quit or sack those ministers who have spoken against him.
Immediately after question hour, Congress legislator Aryadan Mohammed sought to introduce an adjournment motion to discuss the “grave situation in the state” where the collective responsibility of the cabinet has been lost.

“You are interested only in your chair and hence you will say anything to retain your chair. Never before has such a situation prevailed in the country where ministers openly attack a chief minister and vice-versa. It is high time that either you quit or sack those ministers who have spoken against you,” he said.

Mohammed cited various media reports appearing in the last few days where Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac and Education Minister M.A. Baby had openly criticised Achuthanandan for his style of functioning.

In his reply, Achuthanandan sought to refute Mohammed’s claims.

“This baseless news is being carried by newspapers and also the Congress-led opposition. There is no grave situation at all and everything is fine,” the chief minister said.

Following Achuthanandan’s statement, Speaker K. Radhakrishnan denied permission for the adjournment motion.

Leader of opposition Oommen Chandy said that the chief minister has the prerogative to change ministers.

“But today the situation is that it is the ministers who are demanding that Achuthanandan should resign. Where is the collective responsibility in this government when you are being asked to quit,” he asked, adding if this issue was not going to be discussed, then what else could the assembly debate.

However, with the speaker refusing to yield, the opposition legislators left their seats and gathered around his podium.

In the din, the speaker completed the business slated for the day and adjourned the house for the day.

Later, a minister, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IANS that he was “pained” to see the manner in which the government is drifting.

“Things have reached a point of no return and everything has come to a standstill. Now only a miracle can save this government and we are waiting for it to happen,” he said.

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