Kerala Assembly adjourned amid LDF protest

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 17: CPI-M led LDF opposition members in the Kerala Assembly today disrupted proceedings demanding resignation of "tainted and corrupt" ministers in the UDF government, leading to the adjournment of the House for the day.

LDF members, who were protesting in the assembly through out the session over solar and bar bribery scams targetting Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Power Minister Arayadan Muhammed, today took up a graft case against Revenue Minister Adoor Prakesh when he was the Food Minister from 2004 to 06.

Representative Image

Coming to the defence of Prakesh, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said LDF charges were politically motivated and the case was filed it was in power. The government has no information about the Vigilance Director rejecting the investigation report that gave clean chit to Prakesh, he said.

"Not only that, it is a 10-year-old case". The opposition was raking up the case with a political motive, he said. Denying the allegations, Prakesh said he has not made any attempt to cover up the case against him.

He admitted there was a charge-sheet against him in the case and he had obtained bail. Prakesh had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 25 lakhs from a ration dealer for setting up a wholesale ration depot in Kozhikode when he was the Food Minister in 2004-06.

Seeking to move an adjournment motion, Suresh Kurup (CPI-M) wanted a debate on the situation following the "decison" of Director of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to reject the investigation report that gave clean chit to Prakesh.

Kurup said Prakesh, against whom Vigilance had registered chargesheet in February 2011, has no right to continue as a minister with Vigilance Director rejecting the investigation report.

LDF members announced they would continue their protest by staging a 'dharna' inside the House when speaker N Sakthan rejected their notice for debate.

They trooped to the Well of the House and started raising slogans against the government. When the agitation continued, the Speaker took up other business slated earlier and adjourned the House for about 45 minutes. He also held a meeting with leaders of both UDF and LDF to resolve the matter.

However, after no solution was found, the House was adjourned for the day.


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