A day after Kerala Minister Saji Cheriyan triggered a political row with his remarks against the Constitution, the opposition Congress UDF on Wednesday staged protests in the state assembly demanding his resignation following which the Speaker M B Rajesh adjourned the House for the day. As soon as the House proceedings began, the opposition members trooped into the well of the House raising slogans seeking the resignation of Cheriyan.
They urged the Speaker to suspend the question hour and take up the notice for their adjournment motion to discuss the issue. Though the Speaker pointed out that it was against the precedents and procedures of the House and requested them to cooperate with the question hour, the UDF members did not pay heed to his request.
As the sloganeering continued and they were not willing to go back to their respective seats, Rajesh announced that the House was adjourned for the day following which the opposition members walked out of the House raising slogans against Cheriyan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for not seeking his resignation. After staging a brief sit-in protest at the portal of the hall with placards, the UDF members gathered in front of the statue of B R Ambedkar at the Assembly campus and raised slogans charging with Cheriyan 'insulting' the architect of the Indian Constitution through his harsh remarks. Shouting 'jai bhim' slogan, the greeting used by the followers of Ambedkar, they marched out of the Assembly complex.
The opposition leaders, who met the media at the gate, said though they came prepared to raise the issue during the zero hour, the government tried to avoid questions being raised by the UDF against CheriyanThey also claimed that it was "unprecedented" that the entire session was called off by the Speaker in the name of opposition protest during question hour. Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly V D Satheesan alleged that the CM and the CPI(M) leadership were protecting the minister, who had insulted the Constitution and humiliated its architects.
"They did not allow us to seek even the notice for the adjournment motion. We will not surrender before such an autocratic stand by the government. The opposition will continue its fight till Saji Cheriyan submits his resignation," he said. The CM should demand his resignation or he should be removed from his position, he added.
Saji Cheriyan, the minister for Cultural Affairs and Fisheries, on Tuesday landed in trouble for his remarks against the Constitution, triggering a huge political row in the state, but expressed regret soon claiming that he is a public servant upholding the noble constitutional values. In the visuals aired by the TV channels, the minister could be seen saying in a recent event that the Constitution of the country "condones exploitation" and is written in a way helping to "plunder" the people of the country, drawing sharp reaction from the opposition parties which sought his immediate removal from the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF cabinet.
(With PTI Inputs)