Assembly session cut short yet again over Sabarimala

Assembly session cut short yet again over Sabarimala
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Once again, the day's session in the Legislative Assembly came to a tame end. Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan guillotined the proceedings after the opposition members occupied the well of the House and kept shouting slogans demanding the lifting of prohibitory orders. This was also the shortest day of the ongoing session, the speaker winding up the proceedings in 17 minutes.

The opposition walked into the House raising slogans in the name of the three UDF members staging a 'satyagraha' in front of the Assembly entrance. It was the fifth day of the satyagraha, begun to force the government to lift the prohibitory orders clamped in Sabarimala. However, the government did not look under any pressure to concede their demand. The High Court verdict on December 6, which said that the controls in place in Sabarimala were not putting devotees to any difficulties, is seen as a shot in the arm for the government.

The speaker had on December 6 told the Assembly that he was constantly in talks with the government to arrive at a consensus. Industries Minister E P Jayarajan, who stood in for Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the Assembly on December 6, said that the government could not arbitrarily lift prohibitory orders in Sabarimala. “It was clamped on the basis of the assessment of the situation by the local administration,” Jayarajan said, and added: “We too want the opposition members to end their satyagraha.” In response, the opposition leader told Jayarajan that it would be better if they held talks in the speaker's chamber.

Today, quite uncharacteristically, the opposition leader did not even attempt to make his point. He just sat in his place as the younger members kept shouting slogans. The opposition came with the intention of disrupting proceedings. This was evident from the fact that no notice for adjournment motion had reached the speaker's office on the day.

The LDF members, given that they had the upper hand on the Sabarimala issue, were relaxed. They kept taunting the shouting opposition in a leisurely manner. When a question came up about endangered species in the wild, a ruling bench member was heard shouting: “what do we do about certain politically endangered species that know only to shout and nothing else.”

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