TRIVANDRUM: The budget session of the Kerala Assembly commenced on Wednesday with the Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) trying to block the entry of stat governor Arif Mohammed Khan for openly questioning the resolution passed by the assembly against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
The governor, who had come to deliver his opening address, had to wait 10 minutes to enter the prodium as the opposition members sat on the passage shouting slogans against him. The governor could enter the podium after the opposition legislators were removed by the watch and ward, who were called by the speaker.
Amidst shouting slogans by the Opposition members, the governor began his address in the House. Later they staged a walk out and boycotted the governor’s address.
Opposition leader Rameah Chennithala had moved a notice demanding the Speaker to pass a resolution seeking the recall of the governor by the President of India. The UDF MLAs came to the assembly with placards with messages such as "Call Back Governor" and "We the People [of] India Resist CAA."
The governor sought to avert a confrontation with the state government by reading out a paragraph that contained criticism of the CAA -- he said he was doing so at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's request despite his own different views.
Talking to reporters while leaving the assembly, the governor said that he was not rattled by the unprecedented opposition action. “I have seen protests bigger than this. This will not deter me from my position,” he added.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said that the governor’s decision to read the references to the CAA in his speech was a drama enacted jointly by the chief minister and the governor. He accused the chief minister of touching the feet of the governor.
Law minister A K Balan slammed the opposition for blocking the governor. He said that the public will not approve their action. He praised the governor for reading the speech as prepared by the government.
Image Credit: Siasat daily