One day Kerala Assembly session suspended

Thiruvananthapuram: The cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday decided to suspend the special one day sitting of the Kerala Legislative Assembly scheduled for July 27.

The one day special session was called to pass the Finance Bill as according to the rules it has to be passed latest by July 29.

Following the suspension of the announced one day session, the cabinet decided to pass an Ordinance to effect the passing of the Bill.

One reason being given for the decision is the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the state. As around 47 Legislators, including Chief Minister Vijayan, Congress veteran Oommen Chandy and also a few other cabinet ministers, are above 65 years, it was not found to be advisable to convene the Assembly.

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However, the opposition sees a political reason behind the move. The Congress-led opposition has served two notices — a no-confidence motion against the Vijayan government and another seeks the removal of the Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan.

Both these notices are linked to the controversial gold smuggling case, in which three persons, including Swapna Suresh, who worked in the IT department under Vijayan, have been arrested.

Subsequent probes have revealed that she was very close to senior IAS officer M. Sivasankar who held the dual posts of principal secretary to Vijayan and was also the IT secretary.

Following the arrest and the massive outrage by the Congress and the BJP, Vijayan suspended Sivasankar from service.

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Sreeramakrishnan also was found to be close with Swapna and he had inaugurated a business venture of another arrested — Sandip Nair.

Senior Congress Legislator K. C.Joseph said it was not surprising to hear the news of the one day Assembly session being suspended and it was expected as the Vijayan government does not want a discussion in the Assembly.

“They are wary of the various news reports that have linked the gold smuggling gang with the office of Vijayan. They know that even their allies will find it difficult to defend them in the floor of the Assembly, and hence resorted to this under the guise of COVID,” said Joseph.

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