Uproar in Kerala assembly over remarks on Kalam

July 14th, 2008 - 3:11 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of ISRO

Thiruvananthapuram, July 14 (IANS) The Kerala assembly witnessed chaotic scenes Monday as opposition leaders strongly criticised Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan’s remarks “belittling” former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Achuthanandan had at a press conference Friday shown Kalam in poor light, while defending the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) opposition to the India-US nuclear deal.

When told that the deal had even got the green signal from Kalam, Achuthanandan said: “See, Kalam along with Madhavan Nair (Indian Space Research Organisation chairman) and Kasturirangan (former ISRO chairman) have just sent ‘vanam’ (Malayalam for cracker rockets)”.

Congress leader G. Karthikeyan raised this issue in the assembly Monday, saying that it had become a habit of CPI-M leaders to speak ill of all those who were opposed to the party’s ideology.

“Please stop this habit of yours of portraying in poor light all those who don’t think on your lines. Presidents will come and go, but remember Kalam is a renowned space scientist,” Karthikeyan said.

He also lashed out at the qualifications of CPI-M leaders who are opposed to the nuclear deal, including Achuthanandan and state secretary Pinnarayi Vijayan. CPI-M legislator V.N. Vasavan had Friday moved an unofficial resolution in the assembly, asking the central government to not sign the deal.

“Are all these leaders specialists in space and nuclear issues?” Karthikeyan remarked to the thumping of desks by opposition members.

According to assembly records, Achuthanandan has studied up to Class VII, while Vasavan has not completed his Class 12 and Vijayan is a graduate.

Karthikeyan also slammed the Left for teaming up with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, whom they had criticised earlier.

“We have not forgotten what the CPI-M had said about Mayawati and today you go behind her. To justify your needs, everyone knows you (the party) will go to any extent,” Karthikeyan said.

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