Budget session of Kerala Assembly expected to be stormy

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 7 (IANS) The Kerala Assembly’s budget session, set to commence from Friday, is expected to be stormy, with the Opposition set to target Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan over his alleged links with the accused in the gold smuggling scam.

Indian Union Muslim League legislator M. Ummer has already filed a motion of no-confidence against the Speaker, contending that he is under the scanner over his alleged contacts with the gold smuggling accused, and close proximity with prime accused Swapna Suresh, and hence he must demit the office.

Speaker and his office is also embroiled in controversy following his Assistant Private Secretary K. Ayyappan not appearing before the Customs twice despite summons.

Ayyapan had first stated that the Customs had not served a written notice to him and that he only received a call from the Customs department. When a notice was filed to him through email, the Assembly Secretary informed Customs that he is protected by the Legislative Assembly Rules. Customs served a third notice at the residence of Ayyappan, asking him to appear before it on Friday.

However, Congress Legislature Party’s deputy leader K.C. Joseph said that protection under Legislative Assembly rules is only for the elected representatives and not for the staff.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala also lashed out against the Speaker, saying he was misinterpreting the Assembly’s rules to save his staff.

“Speaker trying to scuttle the Customs investigation is not good in democracy,” he said.

The session will commence with the address of Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, and the Budget is scheduled to be presented on January 15.

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