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Thiruvananthapuram, March 18, 2013
The assembly in Kerala witnessed uproarious scenes on Monday over the Italian marines’ issue. Chief minister Oommen Chandy’s assurance that India would explore all options to bring them back to stand trial for the killing of two fishermen, was of no avail. Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s “lenient view” has helped the marines slip out of the country.

The Centre did not oppose the move to send them back to Italy to cast their vote, Achuthanandan said. “They (the marines) could have opted for postal or online voting. But they were allowed to go scot-free in the name of voting.”

Italy, Achuthanandan further insisted, had taken India for a ride on various occasions. The country got a raw deal since the time of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in matters like Bofors. Following his remarks, the treasury benches were in arms. Even Speaker G Karthikeyan cautioned Achuthanandan.

Later, the opposition members staged a walkout after the Speaker turned down their adjournment motion.