Kerala’s LDF government braces for a season of confrontation with Opposition as Assembly convenes on Thursday


The House is convening for a lengthy session on July 22 mainly to discuss and vote on demands for grants in the Budget for the financial year 2021-22

The LDF government appeared braced for a season of confrontation with the Opposition on a raft of issues in the Assembly.

The House is convening for a lengthy session on Thursday mainly to discuss and vote on demands for grants in the Budget for the financial year 2021-22. But, as usual, politics is likely to dominate the debate.

The second session of the 15th Legislative Assembly is also likely to signal the end of the second Pinarayi Vijayan government’s honeymoon period. The UDF has several “sharpened” arrows in its quiver to target the government.

Congress legislator K. Babu has given the notice to discuss the “rising” crimes against women in the State. The Opposition planned to highlight Governor Arif Mohammed Khan’s one-day fast for gender justice to deride the LDF’s gender justice campaign, Sthree Paksham, and spotlight “the vulnerability of women” to wanton cruelty and crime in the State.

The allegation that Forest Minister A. K. Saseendran had attempted to shield an alleged sex offender from legal scrutiny seemed to have come as a windfall for the Opposition poised to take on the government on women protection.

The LDF reportedly hoped to counter the allegation by raising a comparable one against Congress legislator Mathew Kuzhalnadan. It has given notice to Speaker M. B. Rajesh to debate the charge that Mr. Mathew had attempted to protect a child molester. The Congress leader has denied the accusation.

The UDF might also highlight the Supreme Court’s criticism of the government’s move to quash the case against seven LDF leaders responsible for the ruckus and destruction of public property in the Assembly in 2015. The accused include Education Minister V. Sivankutty.

The Opposition will also seek to put the Revenue and Forest Departments in the dock on the illegal felling of scores of ancient rosewood trees in Wayanad.

It has accused the government of a cover-up and charged it with wreaking vengeance against Revenue Department officials who honestly replied to RTI queries on the subject.

The alleged undercounting of COVID-19 deaths, “unscientific” pandemic curbs, trader’s suicide due to loss of business and KITEX controversy will figure in the Assembly. Other issues include the alleged involvement of CPI(M) cadres in Kannur in gold smuggling, a life threat to RMP legislator K. K. Rema, the illegal diversion of ₹100 crore from a CPI(M) controlled Cooperative Bank in Thrissur.

On its part, the LDF might try to exploit the difference in the UDF over the award of minority scholarship.

The Centre’s alleged trespasses against federalism, including its attempt to legislate on State subjects, including Cooperation, might find the LDF and the UDF on the same page in the House. The Speaker has also set aside four days for private members’ bills.

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