Saturday, October 15, 2011

Clash in Kerala Assembly; “disgrace,” says Chandy

Government Chief Whip P.C. George speaking to the media after staging a protest with other ruling Front members outside Kerala Assembly in Thiruvananthapuram over alleged attack on members of the Watch and Ward in the House by Opposition members on Friday. Photo: Roy MathewChief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media here on Friday that the happenings in the Assembly on Friday brought disgrace upon the House as well as people of Kerala.
He also urged Speaker G. Karthikeyan to examine the video recordings of the proceedings in the presence of Opposition leaders and media and punish the guilty. Examination of the videos would bring out the truth about the Opposition allegation that the Watch and Ward had used force against the Opposition members. Opposition members had attacked the watch and ward and tried to attack others.
Mr. Chandy said that the Opposition was trying to create controversies by making false allegations. But, the people should know the truth. It had raised a controversy over voting in the Assembly but had failed to turn up for the examination of the video footage to establish the truth.
He said that the government would follow all the democratic norms and would uphold rights of the Opposition. However, stalling of Assembly proceedings every day and demanding discussions on adjournment motions on the same subject again and again could not be countenanced. Minister for Finance and Law K. M. Mani said that the allegation that the watch and ward had attacked K. K. Lathika MLA was a cooked up story. The member, who usually participated in violent protests, was standing aside on Friday.
Industries Minister P. K. Kunhalikutty said that he had seen a woman member of the watch and ward being beaten by an Opposition member and her cap flying off from her head.
Mr. Chandy recalled that they had been members of the Assembly for long and they had never seen something like this happening in the House before.
Earlier, addressing a press conference, CPI (M) members T. V. Rajesh and K. K. Lathika said that they had been pushed and beaten by the watch and ward. Mr. Rajesh said that he had been beaten with a walkie talkie while Ms. Lathika said she had been jabbed on the face and stomach. CPI members E. S. Bijimol and Geetha Gopi were also present at the press conference.
Earlier, they gave a petition to the Speaker complaining that they had been attacked by the watch and ward. Members of the Watch and Ward V.S. Rajini and V. Abhilash have also submitted complaints to the Speaker saying that they had been attacked by Opposition members.
The Speaker told the media that he would arrange for examination of the video recordings this evening itself if the Oppositions consent to be present.

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