The Congress-led UDF Opposition staged a walkout in the Kerala Assembly on Thursday after Speaker A N Shamsheer denied Congress member Mathew Kuzhalnadan permission under Rule 15 to adjourn the House to discuss the alleged police attempt to save CPI-M leaders in narcotic cases.
Mathew Kuzhalnadan, who gave the notice for an adjournment motion to discuss the drug smuggling issue, cited the alleged involvement of CPI-M leader and Alappuzha municipal councillor A Shanavas in the recent Karunagappally banned tobacco products seizure case. Kuzhalnadan said the case exposed the political patronage that the CPI-M was providing to the accused.
Kuzhalnadan portrayed the case as emblematic of the ruling party’s insatiable appetite to enrich itself from crime and the reckless disregard of its local leaders for the rule of law.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan objected to Kuzhalnadan’s attempt to denigrate the party. He asked whether the Congress had deputed Kuzhalnadan to make utter nonsense in the Assembly against a political party. He also warned the Opposition not to cross its limits.
At this point,leader of the Opposition VD Sathesan intervened and defended Kuzhalnadan. Satheesan said that Kuzhalnadan was fulfilling the task entrusted to him by the party with utmost responsibility.
Excise Minister MB Rajesh said the ongoing police probe in the Karunagappally case has not yielded any evidence against Shanavas. He listed out the hike in the number of narcotic cases, rise in quantity of drug seizures and steep increase in the number of those booked for narcotic offences. Rajesh said that the LDF government does not interfere in police investigation or make any efforts to shield the accused.
Before leading the Opposition’s walkout in protest against the denial of permission for the adjournment motion, leader of the Opposition VD Satheesan said there is a lack of sincerity in the government’s anti-narcotic campaign, it is only aimed at shielding the accused close to the government.