The solar and bar bribery scams are set to dominate the budget session of Kerala Assembly that gets underway on February 5 with opposition LDF expected to turn up the heat on the ruling Congress-led UDF over fresh charges levelled against ministers and others.
Slated to have 14 sittings, the session is significant as it will be the last one of the 13th Kerala Legislative Assembly before the state goes to polls later this year.With ammunition provided by bribery and other charges levelled by the accused in the solar scam, Saritha S Nair, against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Power Minister Arayadan Muhammed and some other Congress leaders, the CPI(M)-led LDF would be looking to target the ruling coalition.The claim by Saritha that she had paid a bribe to Chandy and Muhammed for helping her ‘Team Solar Company’ is going to be one of the main weapons for LDF as it attacks the state government.
Meanwhile, LDF has decided to hold a march to the Secretariate on the first day of the session demanding the resignation of Chandy. LDF Convener Vaikom Viswam has said the strategy for the upcoming Session would be finalised by the legislators on that day.On the other hand, the Treasury benches would seek to turn the tables on LDF by raking up the charge by Saritha that she was offered Rs 10 crore by CPI-M for levelling allegations against the government.UDF found some respite after Kerala High Court stayed a Vigilance Court direction that an FIR be registered against Chandy and Muhammed in the case.
The charge by Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association working president Biju Ramesh that Rs 2 crore was paid to Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala when he was the KPCC President along with Rs 25 lakh to Health Minister VS Sivakumar would also figure prominently in the House.Among the official business, the presentation of the state budget for 2016-17 by Chandy is set for February 12.Chandy has taken over the finance portfolio after Kerala Congress (M) veteran KM Mani resigned following some adverse remarks by high court in the bar bribery scam last year.The session will start with the customary policy address by Governor Justice (retd) P Sathasivam.Discussions on the Motion of Thanks for the Governor’s Address will be held on February 9 and 10, Assembly Speaker N Sakthan said.The session is scheduled to end on February 25.