THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Stepping up their protests against the Left Government over the Sabarimala issue, both the Congress-led UDF and the BJP launched a fresh round of agitations in the state capital on Monday. Launching the second phase of agitations in the Assembly, three UDF MLAs - V S Sivakumar of Congress, Parakkal Abdullah of IUML and N Jayaraj of Kerala Congress (M) - began an indefinite satyagraha outside the Assembly hall, even as BJP state general secretary A N Radhakishnan started an indefinite fast in front of the State Secretariat.
On Monday, for the fourth consecutive day, Assembly proceedings were disrupted over Sabarimala, leading to an early adjournment after the government and opposition traded charges over the issue. With the Assembly witnessing major uproar, the day’s sitting lasted just 21 minutes.
Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala accused Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of disrupting the House, even after the Opposition expressed its willingness to cooperate with the proceedings, and alleged that Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan cut short the sitting, as per the CM’s instructions. On Monday, when the sitting began, Chennithala informed the Assembly of the UDF’s decision to cooperate with the proceedings and indefinite satyagraha at the Assembly. Even as UDF legislators were about to move for the satyagraha, the chief minister, came up with a reply, taking a dig at the opposition for following the suit of BJP.
In an apparent reference to the saffron party, Pinarayi said, “Soon after they started agitations, you have also followed suit. Everybody knows the hidden understanding behind this agitations. Anyway it’s belated wisdom for the Opposition,” said Pinarayi. “It’s the Left Government which is on an understanding with the RSS. It was RSS leader Valsan Thillankeri handling Home portfolio in Sabarimala,” Chennithala said.
With CM and Opposition Leader engaged in a war of words, the Speaker intervened and urged both of them to desist from a political debate during Question Hour. Meanwhile, going one step further, Pinarayi alleged that the Congress in Kerala has accepted Amit Shah as their leader instead of Rahul Gandhi.
Though Chennithala tried to hit back, the Speaker went on with other proceedings of the Question Hour. This led to a major uproar in the House, as UDF legislators trooped to the well-armed with placards and banner.
With UDF legislators covering the Speaker’s podium with the banner, some LDF legislators led by Eldoh Abraham tried to move to the well in an attempt to counter them. Hibi Eden and other UDF MLAs shouted back at the Left legislators. Opposition UDF was planning to bring the nepotism charges against minister K T Jaleel through an adjournment motion in the House on Monday. Chennithala alleged that the chief minister deliberately disrupted the House, to avoid the Jaleel issue getting discussed.
6,326 vacancies in govt schools
T’Puram: Education Minister C Raveendranath said in the Assembly that there were 6,326 vacancies of teaching staff in government LP and UP schools in the state. According to the minister, at present, the vacancies were being filled with contract staff. The vacancies were reported to the PSC and the appointment towards the said posts will be made on the basis of the publication of the rank list, he said.
Change in syllabus
Changes will be made in the syllabi of class 9 and 10 of government and aided schools in the coming academic year, the minister said. The proposed changes will be for promoting IT-based education. A recommendation made by a high-level committee has also been approved. “To facilitate IT-based education through the comprehensive portal, a few issues need to be addressed on a war footing. This will have to be completed before the proposed syllabus revision,” he said.