Kerala House adjourned sine die over ISRO land deal

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 20 (UNI) Amid noisy scenes over ISRO land deal, the Kerala Assembly was adjourned sine-die today after Speaker K Radhakrishnan rushed through the scheduled business.

As soon as the House assembled in the morning, members of the Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) staged a dharna in the Well of the House demanding resignation of Forest Minister Binoy Viswom and a comprehensive inquiry into the land deal at Ponmudi here forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for an hour.

When the House reassembled for the Zero Hour, Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy said though the indefinite fast by five MLAs entered the fourth day today, the government was not willing to order an inquiry.

Under this circumstance, the Opposition cannot offer cooperation in the conduct of Assembly proceedings.

The Opposition alleged the State Forest and Revenue Departments had given documents to the Centre to create an impression that the sale of Ecologically Fragile Land (EFL) by a private party to the ISRO for setting up the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) was legal.

Though the government had accepted the deal to be 'illegal,' it was afraid of an inquiry.

Amid shouting of slogans in the Well of the House, the Speaker rushed through the day's proceedings and passed a motion moved by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan seeking the adjournment of the House sine-die.

The Speaker said during the session which began on September 4, as many as 15 bills were passed. Three bills were referred to the Subject Committee and two to the Select Committee.

Later, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Ramesh Chennithala offered lime juice to Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan (Cong), Joseph M Puthussery (KC-M), U C Raman (IUML), K B Ganesh Kumar (KC-B) and K K Shaju (JSS) signalling the end of their fast.

Addressing them, Mr Chandy said the Opposition would continue with the agitation outside the House to press for the resignation of the Forest Minister and a comprehensive inquiry into the land deal.


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