It’s breach of privilege of Assembly, says Congress
By Express News Service | Published: 13th October 2017 01:14 AM |
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Hectic activity prevailed in the Congress camp on Thursday to take upon the government and the Chief Minister by raising a privilege issue over the disclosures from the Solar Commission report and resorting to actions like a Vigilance probe and slapping of corruption and rape cases even before publishing the report. K C Joseph MLA, Congress legislature party deputy leader and former minister, filed a complaint with Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan pointing out a breach of privilege of House members.
The state Congress leadership is in no mood to wait till the mandatory presentation of the report in the Assembly. Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has filed an application under the RTI to the Chief Secretary seeking a copy of the Solar Commission report. He told Express in the event of denying the details of the report, he would proceed legally to avail of the copy. Chandy reiterated his position of quitting public life and politics even if there is 1/100th of truth in the allegations while attending various party functions in Kollam district. He also reassured the Congress and the UDF cadre the Opposition would not be weakened by the moves of the government.
Finding grave fault with the government and the Chief Minister for disclosing the contents without tabling the report in an appropriate manner and announcing a probe, the Congress leadership believes what was presented as conclusions and findings of the Commission were only political versions of it and set goals of the ruling CPM.
However, tagging charges of sexual harassment and rape on Congress personalities has jolted the leadership to seriously address the point as registering FIRs on this score would put many in a piquant situation, including arrests. The upcoming revamp in the state unit will also make the going tough for the Congress.
K C Joseph, in his complaint to the Assembly Speaker, along with an attachment of the press note circulated at the Chief Minister’s press conference the other day, said it is for the first time in the history of the state a Chief Minister had explained the contents of a Commission report before publishing or tabling it in the Assembly.’’ There is no legal hurdle in publishing the report before presenting it in the Assembly. But announcing the action taken or to be taken on the report in a press conference instead of doing it in the Assembly is a breach of privilege of the House.The precedent followed was to present a Commisison report with a statement of the action taken report in the House,’’ Joseph said.
‘’Through this act, the Chief Minister’s attempt was to keep the House in the dark and reap political gains. Action should be initiated against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the grave matter,” he urged.
V T Balram MLA said the government moves need to be taken only as a gift for ‘compromises’ and ‘adjustments’ made by the former UDF Government with the CPM to save the skin of those accused in the T P Chandrasekharan murder case. He lashed out at the Left Government for the moves against Congress leaders but didn’t spare fellowmen for going soft against the CPM and Left captains in various cases though it had a sound footing.
High Command summons state leaders to Delhi
T’Puram: The Congress High Command has barred state leaders from making public statements on the Solar Commission report until it is published. They have also been asked to find ways to pressurise the LDF government to publish the report and resort to a legal as well as political course of action if necessary. Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and other senior leaders have also been summoned by the High Command to New Delhi for consultations.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has already reached New Delhi. KPCC president M M Hassan and vice-president V D Satheesan MLA have also been asked to be present for consultations with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday. Ramesh held talks with senior leader A K Antony on Thursday.The High Command’s intervention comes amid the LDF Government’s strategic moves to register cases against Chandy and other leaders by slapping various charges including rape.