Thiruvananathapuram: Kerala's opposition Left on Thursday shouted slogans demanding the ouster of Forest Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar and government chief whip P.C. George for what they said were insulting remarks against their members last week.
After Speaker G. Karthikeyan failed to give the nod for an adjournment motion moved by former Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, leader of opposition V.S. Achuthanandan said to protest the government's action of not ousting the two leaders, they would not stage a walkout but remain in their seat instead and protest. Karthikeyan then adjourned the house for 30 minutes.
Resuming proceedings after the break, the opposition continued to shout slogans and did not heed the speaker's ruling to allow the conduct of the house. The speaker in a flash finished the listed business for the day and in between, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said discussion on the decision to increase the salary of legislators would not be taken up.
Earlier in the day Balakrishnan asked Chandy to oust Kumar and George for their abusive remarks at a public meeting on Sep 27. While Kumar had called Achuthanandan a pervert, George had allegedly made casteist remarks.
"George made a casteist remark on former minister and CPI-M legislator A.K. Balan and for that police should suo motu make a case against him under the Prevention of SC/ST Atrocities Act and it has not been done. Kumar made derogatory statements against Achuthanandan. The chief minister should oust both from the posts they hold," said Balakrishnan.
But Chandy said, "Just by mentioning that someone hails from the Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) category is neither defamatory nor derogatory. Also remember that former chief minister E.K. Nayanar called Congress leader M.A. Kuttapan by his caste name and the latter approached the apex court. The court dismissed the petition because such a remark was not made in the presence of the aggrieved. Also on Kumar's statement, last week I publicly apologised in the assembly and it was for the people of the state that I apologised."
Achuthanandan told reporters it would be difficult for them to cooperate if George did not apologise. "All he has to do is tender an apology and the matter would be closed," said Achuthanandan.
But George stood firm. "Since I have done no wrong, nor abused anyone, an apology from my side is ruled out and with a case in this regard in the court, I will fight the case," said George.
With both sides sticking to their stand, the last day of the assembly session Friday is expected to end on similar lines.