Satheesan says panicky Pinarayi using Speaker’s Office to smother difficult questions

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Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition Leader V D Satheesan said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wanted to make it seem that the UDF was targeting the Speaker.

“Fact is, the Speaker is under pressure. Yesterday when we met him he even expressed his helplessness,” the Opposition Leader said while meeting reporters after the major scuffle that broke out in front of the Speaker’s office.

“We told him that he should function like a Speaker,” he added.
According to him, it is the Chief Minister’s fear of facing tough questions that had resulted in the stifling of the Opposition’s rights.

“He is afraid of our questions. The LDF has deployed 10 MLAs to disrupt the Opposition Leader’s speech,” the Opposition Leader said.

“A Damocles sword hangs over Pinarayi now,” Satheesan said, referring to the Enforcement Directorate probe into the gold smuggling scandal. “It might fall on him before the Assembly session ends. That is why he is keen to guillotine the Assembly proceedings. He is doing all he can to wind up the session before anything happens,” Satheesan alleged.

The Opposition Leader said there was no provocation for the use of Watch and Ward against the UDF members. “If anyone can point out one instance of UDF provocation, I will openly apologise,” he declared.

Pinarayi is adopting all the undemocratic tactics employed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “He secretly admires Modi,” Satheesan added.

Satheesan said the UDF plan was to stage a sit-in protest in front of the Speaker’s office.”We had no intention of blocking the way of the Speaker. We told this to the Watch and Ward staff. But still, they manhandled us. A senior leader like Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan was the first to be roughed up, Satheesan said.
He alleged that two CPM MLAs – H Salam and Sachin Dev – kicked on UDF MLAs. The staff of ministers were also involved.

“What was the MLAs and the staff of ministers doing there. What business did they have there,” he asked.

The Opposition Leader demanded action against the two MLAs and the chief marshal and deputy chief marshal of the W&W staff.
He said four UDF legislators – Saneesh Kumar Joseph, T V Ibrahim, K K Rema and A K M Ashraf – were injured in the melee.
Satheesan teased the Chief Minister for his Brahmapuram resolution. He called him “radio” for commenting on the Brahmapuram fire using the expedient of a resolution under Rule 300 of the Assembly Rules. “This way no one can ask him questions. Even if I were present in the House when he was reading from the resolution, I was barred by rules to raise questions,” Satheesan said. “The Chief Minister had opportunities to respond to the Brahmapuram situation yesterday and the day before yesterday but he did not,” he added.

Satheesan said the Chief Minister had not uttered a word about the company (Zonta Infratech). “It was the Chief Minister’s Office that pulled the strings for the company,” he said. Satheesan also raised an unsubstantiated allegation that the Chief Minister had met the representatives of the company during his travel abroad. He agreed that he had no proof but wanted the Chief Minister to clear the air.

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