Kerala assembly session likely to be stormy

June 21st, 2008 - 4:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 21 (IANS) The Kerala assembly session starting Monday is likely to witness some high voltage proceedings with the opposition ready to take on the government on issues such as the ongoing tiff between the two ruling Left allies as well as the takeover of the Golf Club. The treasury benches, which have 98 members, have enough power to shout down the 42-member opposition benches - which could see the assembly turning noisy.

The opposition student’s organisations have laid the foundation for some arguments inside the assembly on the issue of the violent students’ protest the state is witnessing for the past week over the contents of the Class 7 social studies text book.

The students have been demanding withdrawal of the text book because it has little on the independence struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders, but more on communist history.

The student agitators have been manhandled by the police, which has led the opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) to declare war on the V.S. Achuthanandan government. Congress legislator T.N. Prathapan was beaten up by the police at Thrissur Friday after he inaugurated a student organization meeting.

Another issue that could see the treasury and the opposition benches at daggers drawn is the ongoing tiff between the two Communist parties.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) is peeved at the way the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) is playing big brother, especially on the Integrated Food Security Programme.

The two parties have held meeting in the last two days on the issue, but are yet to finalise the programme. All eyes are on the meeting of the liaison committee of the Left Democratic Front to be held here Sunday.

The takeover of the city Golf Club by the government is likely to be another issue on which the ruling benches could be under fire. The issue has seen the law department and the revenue department, headed by ministers from the two communist parties, at loggerheads. The Kerala High Court has come down down heavily on the Achuthanandan government on the issue.

Cooperation Minister and senior CPI-M leader G. Sudhakaran is certain to come under attack from the opposition. Sudhakaran had alleged that three legislators from the opposition who hail from his Alapuzha district were running a mafia and working against the interest of the state.

The session could see a string of adjournment motions, walk outs and even a sit in, in front of the main assembly door, which has of late become a routine affair.

In a bid to ensure that the session is smooth, Speaker K. Radhakrishnan said Saturday he would hold discussions with all party leaders to improve the quality of the proceedings.

The opposition UDF is to hold its parliamentary party meeting Sunday to chalk out its strategy for the session.

The assembly session would be the eighth of the 12th Kerala assembly. It will end on July 23.

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