Kerala Assembly session beginning today likely to be stormy
The budget session of the Kerala assembly beginning on Wednesday is likely to be stormy following the recent spat between Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and the state government over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the opposition Congress pitching for the Governor’s recall.
The Governor is expected to read out the policy of his government in the first session of the year that is likely to contain portions critical of the Union government. Also in the session, Speaker P Sivaramakrishan will have to take a decision on the Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala’s notice to introduce a motion requesting the President to recall the Governor.
The Governor had openly expressed his dissatisfaction over the state assembly passing a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment (CAA) in last December and also questioned the move to file a suit in the Supreme Court against the CAA without sounding him. He has also upset many lawmakers saying that the house resolution was unconstitutional and had no legal validity and was sheer waste of time.
He had also sought a report from chief secretary Tom Jose over the government’s move to file a suit in Supreme Court without informing him. He had also sought many clarifications in policy speech but the government was not ready to dilute it. He had also asked whether it was right for him to speak about an issue that is sub judice with the state government already moving the top court.
On the other hand the Speaker on Tuesday said the opposition leader’s resolution was admissible but he said he will take a decision only after consulting the leader of the house (Chief Minister) and others.
“The resolution is admissible but I will have to consult the CM and business advisory committee before taking a decision,” the Speaker said.
Political observers say if the Governor embarrasses the government in the opening session it is likely to give the nod for the opposition leader’s resolution. If it gets the nod, this is the first time such a resolution will be coming up in the assembly.
Sensing the dilemma of the state government, the opposition has sharpened its attack.
“The Governor was day in and out casting aspersions on the state assembly. But Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan continued to be silent. I was forced to bring such a resolution to compensate the CM’s silence,” said Chennithala. He insisted that he was firm on resolution. In 140-member house the LDF enjoys a brute majority of 92, while the Congress-led UDF has 47 members and a BJP has a lone member.
The relation between the Governor and government soured after the latter took a strong position on the CAA. But the Governor repeatedly said citizenship was a Union subject. But when the state took a lead position in anti-CAA protests by being the first state to move a resolution in the assembly and first to file a suit in the apex court, differences between the two widened.