Following the heated debate in the Kerala Assembly on Wednesday, the government and the opposition engaged in another debate over the removal of Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan. Much before the discussion began, the Speaker changed seats with Deputy Speaker V Sasi, after which the latter introduced the motion.
IUML MLA M Ummer had presented the notice, in which he claimed that the Speaker had “lowered the esteem of the Assembly by associating with the accused in a high profile case”. In his presentation today, Ummer added that the “stench that the Speaker had brought on will never wash away”. “He [the Speaker] admitted that he knew Swapna Suresh, and he never took any legal action against the media for their reports. The resolution isn’t to send the Speaker to jail or bring him down. It is to protect the integrity of the Assembly.”
However, MLA S Sharma opposed the resolution, claiming that a motion against the Speaker shouldn’t be politically motivated and that it must be objective. “The motion cannot be based on media reports, and as such, there is no base to the notice the opposition has presented here. A resolution against the Speaker must be heralded with specific charges, and since there are none here, then I move to dismiss the motion,” he said. However, the Deputy Speaker allowed the motion to continue on a technicality.
Supporting the motion, the opposition expressed their dissatisfaction over the central agencies investigating the Speaker and questioning the latter’s office staff. The Customs had earlier probed into Sreeramakrishnan’s Addl Private Secretary on the alleged involvement of the Speaker in the dollar smuggling case. Moreover, the opposition also emphasises the Speakers’ alleged part in the irregularities in the management of the Assembly functions — mainly the case of Sabha TV and e-niyamasabha project. Lone BJP MLA O Rajagopal also supported the motion to remove the Speaker.
Minister G Sudhakaran also moved against the resolution saying that the “drafting is wrong”. “There is no evidence in the draft, only allegations. Moreover, there is no evidence, despite the claim that there is a subjective satisfaction of the mover. There has been no preliminary inquiry against the Speaker, and none of the accusations has been proved nor has there been any evidence at least suggesting it. This motion is against the Constitution and it is politically motivated,” he says.
Before the session, Sreeramakrishnan had told media persons that the accusations against him are imaginary. “None of the Assembly members has asked me about the accusations levelled against me, and neither have they conducted a preliminary probe. They could have at least done that before introducing the motion,” he said, adding that he has done no wrong.
More updates to follow