Chaotic scenes played out at Kerala Assembly today during a protest by Opposition MLAs outside the Speaker’s office. Shocking visuals showed security guards lifting the MLAs and removing them from the building.
The MLAs of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), who lay on the ground refusing to budge, were lifted and removed from outside Speaker AN Shamsheer’s office.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly V D Satheesan told reporters that four MLAs — Rema, A K M Ashraf, T V Ibrahim and Saneesh Kumar — were injured in the face-off.
“The democratic rights of the Opposition are continuously denied in the House. We tried to present the issue of the recent brutal assault faced by a minor girl as an adjournment motion but its notice was denied by the Speaker without any valid reason,” he said, according to news agency PTI.
Senior legislator and former home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan was pushed, and MLA KK Rema’s hand was twisted and dragged on the floor by four-five women marshals, the Opposition legislators alleged.
Mr Satheesan alleged that Speaker AN Shamsheer was functioning in a biased manner under pressure from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. He also said the Chief Minister was scared of questions and wanted to wind up the ongoing session fast.
He alleged that several MLAs of the ruling party assaulted Opposition legislators and demanded immediate action against them.
The MLAs were protesting after an adjournment motion to discuss the safety of women was not accepted. This came a day after another adjournment motion to discuss police action against Congress councillors protesting over the Kochi dumpyard fire was not taken up.
When the Speaker announced today that the notice for an adjournment motion to discuss women’s security could not be taken up, Opposition MLAs started raising slogans and waving banners. They then walked out of the House and marched to the Speaker’s office.
The legislators were blocked by Watch and Ward staff, who manage security in the state legislature and report to the Speaker. As many MLAs tried to move forward, the marshals stopped them.