Thiruvananthapuram | The Kerala Assembly today witnessed ruckus over the bar bribery row involving Finance Minister K M Mani leading to suspension of a CPI-M MLA and censure of four others, besides abrupt adjournment of the House for the day. Deputy Speaker N Sakthan adjourned the House after swiftly taking up the scheduled agenda amidst slogan shouting and protest by the LDF-led Opposition demanding resignation of Mani.
CPI-M member V Sivankutty was suspended for the day for showing disrespect to the House and behaving in an indisciplined manner violating House rules.
Four others, all CPI-M members –T V Rajesh, R Rajesh, Babu M Pallissery and P Sivarakrishnan– were censored for their indisciplined behaviour. A resolution in this regard was moved by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy which was passed by the House even as LDF members protested.
Trouble started after Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan took up the issue through a submission and demanded that government register an FIR against Mani and carry out the probe on corruption charges. Though Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala maintained that the quick verification on the matter by Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau was in final stages and there was no move on the part of the government to sabotage the probe, LDF members trooped to the well of the House and started raising slogans against the government.
Along with others, Sivankutty climbed on to the Speaker’s podium and even tried to snatch the microphone installed in front of the Speaker. Even though the House adjourned temporarily for more than an hour after the pandemonium broke out and the Deputy Speaker held a meeting of leaders of all parties, they could not reach an agreement on the smooth conduct of further proceedings.
LDF members had walked out of the House on the same issue yesterday when CPI-M Deputy leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan raised the matter through a notice for an adjournment motion.
Both the Congress-led UDF and Mani, the 81-year old supremo of Kerala Congress (M) have rejected the charges as baseless. KC-M is the third largest party in the ruling coalition.
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