Thiruvananthapuram | CPI(M)’s P Sreeramakrishnan was today elected as the Speaker of the 14th Kerala Assembly. Sreeramakrishnan (LDF), who represents Ponnani constituency, secured 92 votes against UDF’s candidate V P Sajeendran, who got 46 votes in the 140member House.
A member of CPI(M) state committee, 48 year old Sreeramakrishnan, known for his pleasant personality and softspoken nature, has already proved his talent during his tenure as MLA in the last assembly. After the election, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala jointly led him to the Speaker’s dais.
The House also witnessed certain politically significant events with BJP’s lone member O Rajagopal opting to vote in favour of Sreeramakrishnan. Justifying his decision to favour the LDF candidate, the BJP leader said one of the reasons was that UDF had openly stated that they did not want the BJP MLA’s vote.
Rajagopal also said BJP would not blindly oppose all government policies but would take decisions on ‘merit basis’ in the House. BJP is committed to exposing the mistakes of both ruling LDF and opposition UDF in the House, he told reporters during a press meet in the Assembly media room later.
On why he voted for CPI(M)’s candidate which the saffron party opposed at the state and national level, he said, It’s my personal vote for Sreeramakrishnan who is a good public worker and also a friend of mine. To a question, he said the party had not discussed the matter. The UDF faced embarrassment as its candidate secured only 46 votes though they have 47 members in the House.
Stressing that UDF would examine the issue as it was a serious one, Chennithala told reporters that he did not think that it was deliberate crossvoting from the front’s side. Taking a dig at BJP and LDF, he said Rajagopal’s vote in favour of LDF candidate exposed the secret tieup between the CPI(M) and the saffron party, which Congress was stressing on throughout the election campaign.
BJP MLA voting for CPI(M) candidate is unethical. It shows BJP’s leaning towards LDF, the former Home Minister said and maintained that Congressled UDF did not want any cooperation with BJP in the House.