The originally designated two-hour discussion on the removal of Kerala Speaker turned into a heated session lasting three hours and 45 minutes. Following Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan’s response to the accusations, the opposition members organised a walkout and thus the Deputy Speaker V Sasi declared that the motion has been dismissed. A motion of no confidence has been moved against the Speaker in the Kerala Assembly after 17 years.
After IUML MLA M Ummer had presented the motion, CPM MLA S Sharma had requested to dismiss the motion on the grounds that there was no evidence for the same. However, Sasi had maintained the motion on a technicality. The opposition accused the Speaker of corruption as well as having a part in the gold and dollar smuggling case, pointing out that the Sreeramakrishnan had admitted to knowing Swapna Suresh.
PT Thomas told the Assembly that an objective investigation into the Dollar smuggling case would put Sreeramakrishnan in jail. “The Kerala Assembly was built for Rs 72 Crore, but the Kerala Speaker has already more than that already,” he said addressing the allegation of corruption against the Speaker. BJP’s lone MLA O Rajagopal supported the opposition’s motion and said that the person who is the Speaker should be above the law. “The Speaker should be a role model for everyone in the Assembly. Public servants should be able to identify and distance themselves from anti-national elements, and instead of going side by side with one is regrettable,” he said.
Minister G Sudhakaran and Sharma had maintained that the motion against the Speaker is unsubstantiated and baseless, as it is based on media reports. The Speaker denied all allegations against him and said that Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala is still behaving like a KSU leader and MK Muneer is like an actor. “If the opposition could prove one allegation against me, I would quit my service. Allegations are okay, but they need to have a standard. In regards to the Customs wanting to question staff, I didn’t allow it since he was necessary for the Assembly functions. Moreover, in my letter to the agency, I wrote that he would appear later,” he said, adding that he didn’t respond to media reports as he didn’t want to engage with media rumours.
Meanwhile, Customs is currently questioning the Speakers’ two friends — Naaz Abdulla and Lafeer Muhammed — in regards to the Dollar smuggling case. The agency believes that a SIM card allegedly used by Sreeramakrishnan is registered in Naaz’s name. The SIM card has not been working since the agency had recovered gold from the diplomatic baggage.