No-confidence motion against Pinarayi Vijayan govt in Kerala defeated; CM denies all Opposition charges

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The voting took place in the Kerala Assembly after a heated session that commenced in the morning and lasted till 9.30 pm

The no-confident motion brought by the Oppositionagainst the Pinarayi Vijayan government was defeated on Monday by 87-40 votes.

The voting took place in the Kerala Assembly after a heated session that commenced in the morning and lasted till 9.30 pm. Two members including BJP’s O Rajagopal did not participate in the voting.

In the morning, Congress MLA VD Satheeshan the no-trust motion against the government.

In his reply that spanned over three-and-half hours, the Kerala chief minister rejected all the allegations leveled by the United Democratic Front (UDF) Opposition in the House on Monday. He said that the charges were only to mislead the people and the state government had welcomed any investigations against it.

“We are going to the people and let them decide on this no-confidence motion,” he concluded the speech.

As the chief minister was replying to the Opposition charges in the House, the Opposition started shouting slogans trying to disrupt his speech.

Later some of the members moved into the well of the House shouting slogans against Vijayan and the government.

He also supported state Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel and ruled out the charges against him. He allegedly accepted Quran from UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram as Ramadan gift which the Opposition alleged that was a violation of the protocol.

"There is nothing unusual in contacting the minister. He is the minorities and Waqf affairs minister also. That is why the UAE Consulate contacted Jaleel. They informed him that the consulate wanted to gift food kits and packets containing Quran," said the chief minister.

He said that the UAE Consulates in all the countries distribute such things.

The chief minister pointed out that the minister welcomed any probe against him.

Talking about the gold smuggling case at Thiruvananthapuram amid the uproar of the Opposition members, Vijayan said that it was the duty of the Centre to detect smuggling through airport. He said that the Opposition allegations had no evidence against the government.

While replying to the charges of the UDF, he said that they lost trust in themselves and that is why they came up with baseless allegations against the government.

Ridiculing the developments within the Congress, Vijayan alleged that the grand old party failed to elect even its president.

He said that the people have full confidence in the government led by Left Democratic Front (LDF).

The Kerala chief minister pointed out that it had 91 seats in the Assembly after the 2016 polls and the LDF strength increased to 93 now after the ruling combine wrested two UDF seats in the by-elections last year.

Vijayan said that Congress was the B-team of the BJP and alleged that it was following a soft-Hindutva line in a bid to come back to power.

He elaborated the various development projects and welfare schemes implemented by the LDF government in its rule.

Earlier, while introducing the no-trust motion in the morning, Satheeshan alleged that the LDF government dipped in corruption.

He asked how the chief minister failed to notice the association of a senior officer in his department with the accused in the gold smuggling case. He had raised commission allegations of Rs 4.25 crore in the the Life Mission project, Kerala’s housing scheme for the homeless and poor.

Satheesan also alleged that this additional Rs 5 crore bribe had links to the owner of the Bevco App the government had picked for the sale of liquor in Kerala.

He challenged the LDF government to announce an investigation into the allegations.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the allegations are leading the chief minister’s office. He also alleged that the partymen were carrying out cyber-attacks against those who criticize the government especially the media persons.

Image credit: Mathrubhumi

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