THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The fifth session of the Kerala Assembly, commencing on Monday, is likely to take a turbulent turn as the opposition led by the Congress seemed to have been equipped with enough ammunition, ranging from the startling revelations by a key accused in the gold smuggling case against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to the vandalisation of Rahul Gandhi's office by SFI activists, to take on the CPI(M)-led LDF government.
The one-month-long session, being convened mainly to discuss and pass the demands for grants for the financial year 2022-23, is expected to be a politically charged one with the Congress-led UDF making it clear that they would raise the ongoing controversies in the House.
The opposition members would be coming to the House drawing confidence from the recent historic victory gained by party candidate Uma Thomas, the widow of former legislator P T Thomas, in Thrikkakara bypoll defeating CPI(M)-LDF nominee Jo Joseph by a thumping margin.
The ruling CPI(M) and Chief Minister Vijayan were already facing stiff protests from the main opposition party over the fresh revelations by gold smuggling case key accused Swapna Suresh for some time.
But, the SFI activists' attack and vandalism of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's office in Wayanad on Friday was likely to give the Left government more trouble in the Assembly and would put the ruling front and its members on the defensive in the initial days.
Though the Chief Minister, and the CPI(M) state and central leadership were quick to denounce the protest march and attack of Gandhi's office by their students' cadre and promised stern action against the guilty, the agitated Congress leaders and workers were standing by their charge that it was done with the knowledge of the party bigwigs.
They even alleged that Gandhi's office was attacked as per the agenda of the Sangh Parivar and with the support of the CM to please the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
As the allegations were levelled directly against him and his family members in the gold and dollar smuggling case, the Chief Minister may have to put in extra effort to curtail the opposition's charge and prove that all accusations were politically motivated.
The CM and the ruling members are expected to claim that there was nothing new in the latest disclosure by Suresh and the people had already rejected them and given them the mandate to rule the state again in the Assembly polls held in 2021.
The gold smuggling case, allegedly involving some bureaucrats of Vijayan's office, was one of the key issues debated during the Assembly polls last year.
The ruling front may also rake up the ongoing interrogation of Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the National Herald case to prove their argument that central agencies are targeting non-BJP leaders and state heads.
The LDF is also likely to claim that the reported meeting of Suresh and controversial leader P C George, who is now close to BJP, was proof for their argument that there was a conspiracy behind her sudden disclosure targeting the Chief Minister, his family members and some top bureaucrats.
However, the UDF is expected to point out the reported phone calls between the controversial ex-journalist Shaj Kiran and the top police officers to reject the claims of the CM's non-involvement in the issue.
The opposition and ruling fronts would also raise the unprecedented security arrangements being made for Vijayan after Suresh's disclosures and protest by the Youth Congress activists against the CM aboard a flight to attack each other, respectively.
The issue of buffer zones around the protected forests, the government's bid to push the multi-crore SilverLine rail corridor project amid the poor economic position of the state and the ailing condition of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) would also be among other topics expected to be raised in the House. The session is scheduled to be concluded on July 27.