THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Assembly proceedings were disrupted for the third consecutive day on Friday over the Sabarimala row. With Opposition protests escalating, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan cut short the proceedings even before the question hour was halfway through.
Trouble began during the question hour with the UDF demanding the Speaker suspend the one-hour session and discuss the lack of amenities in Sabarimala. If not, the Opposition should be allowed to raise the issue through an adjournment motion, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said.
Opposition members had come armed with placards and banners and, shouting slogans, invaded the well at the start of question hour. Since the Opposition had placed a request for raising the same issue through an adjournment motion on Thursday, the Speaker replied Friday’s request cannot be entertained as there was no new ‘development’.
His proposal that the matter can instead be raised as a submission was rejected by the Opposition.
Chennithala cited precedents - in the solar case, for instance - where the same issue was dealt with in multiple adjournment motions. The Speaker was denying the Opposition its rights in the House even as LDF ministers were holding press conferences and levelling allegations against the Opposition, he said.
The Speaker said press conferences held by ministers and members outside the Assembly were beyond the purview of the House.With the Opposition persisting with the protests, the Speaker quickly wound up the day’s business.