THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: New revelations in the gold smuggling case, buffer zone issue, SilverLine survey, SFI attack on Rahul Gandhi’s office, and the power tariff hike. The Opposition has a whole lot of issues to put the LDF government on the back foot. If anything, the fifth session of the 15th Kerala assembly beginning on Monday is likely to be stormy.
The UDF will be in the assembly with renewed vigour following their thumping victory in the Thrikkakara byelection. Interestingly, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has not met the media after the Thrikkakara debacle.
The session will also see Uma Thomas making her debut in the assembly. But the cynosure of all eyes will be Pinarayi, with his name being dragged into the gold smuggling case by Swapna Suresh, a key accused. The Opposition is set to kick the session off by raising the attack on Wayanad MP’s office in Kalpetta, even as the ruling front is already feeling the heat of the leading party’s youth wing’s actions. Pinarayi had condemned SFI’s rampage but the UDF camp is not content with that.
Opposition Leader VD Satheesan told TNIE that the UDF Parliamentary Party will meet at 8am on Monday. “Ahead of the first day, the UDF MLAs will meet to chalk out our strategy. On Monday, we will be taking up the Wayanad issue. In the subsequent days, we will bring out issues one by one, as there is no dearth of topics,” Satheesan said.
While the fifth session is scheduled to conclude only on July 27, it remains to be seen whether Speaker M B Rajesh will be forced to reduce the number of days if the Opposition protest turns stormy. During the 23-day session, 13 days will be set apart for discussion and voting on demands for budget grants for the current fiscal year. Four days each will be set apart for private members’ business and for the consideration of various bills. Two days will be spent discussing on the supplementary demands for grants and the Appropriation Bill.
Power tariff hike ploy to divert attention: Satheesan
T’Puram: The Opposition is viewing the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Authority’s (KSERC) decision to hike power tariff on the eve of the fifth session of the 15th Legislative Assembly as a ploy to divert attention from the slew of controversies the LDF government is facing. Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan told TNIE that the KSERC’s decision to hike power tariff cannot be endorsed. It will be taken up in the assembly, said Satheesan. “The board was steeped in corruption, which led to huge financial losses. And that has now been slapped on consumers. I also strongly suspect the tariff has been revised to distract people from the raging controversies plaguing the LDF government,” said Satheesan.