THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Muvattupuzha MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan had the blessings of Congress national general secretary K C Venugopal in defying the UDF parliamentary party decision and raising allegations linking Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his daughter to CMRL in the Assembly.
Despite the demand by a majority of MLAs, the UDF parliamentary party had decided not to take up the issue against CM’s daughter as an adjournment motion in the Assembly last Thursday. The UDF leadership was unhappy with Kuzhalnadan for raising the issue against the chief minister and his daughter.
In fact, they were caught unawares when Kuzhalnadan raised the issue amid a discussion on a Bill. Kuzhalnadan’s gesture in the Assembly did not obviously go down well with Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan and other leaders. A senior Congress leader told TNIE that the MLA had the backing of Venugopal.
“Venugopal held the view that the payment row should have been taken up by the UDF in the Assembly. Venugopal had told his fellow MPs that CMRL’s S N Sasidharan Kartha had neither supported him nor sought his help during his election outings in Alappuzha,” said a Congress leader.
A source close to Satheesan told TNIE that Kuzhalnadan should not have raised the topic when the discussion on a Bill was going on. Satheesan’s stand has been that as per the rules of procedure, the adjournment motion would not stand which would be easy for the speaker to reject it immediately. Moreover, the IUML leadership was keen to bring the Tanur custody death as an adjournment motion. Kuzhalnadan should have raised the issue against Veena only when the supplementary bill was taken up, said the source.
“When the discussion on a bill is ongoing in the Assembly, we have to ensure that the members speak within the ambit of the Bill. Kuzhalnadan is a first-time MLA and it is nothing but the eagerness to hog headlines which prompted him to take up the issue,” he said.
A source close to Kuzhalnadan told TNIE that if he had not raised the issue, the party’s integrity would have been at stake before the people. “Kuzhalnadan sought a time slot to speak in the absence of senior UDF MLAs. The norm is that when there is a dearth of MLAs to speak, those present in the Assembly from the respective fronts can take up that slot. He was keen to get a slot and when he got it, he decided to raise the issue which his senior colleagues had tried to brush under the carpet,” the source said.