Achuthanandan’s offensive remark continues to rock Kerala assembly


Thiruvananthapuram : The Kerala assembly was Thursday adjourned amidst chaos as opposition members shouted slogans against Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, who had accused opposition leader Oommen Chandy of having lied to the media about his apology for offending a martyred army officer’s family.

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Trouble started immediately after the question hour, when the opposition sought leave for an adjournment motion since Speaker K. Radhakrishnan had not allowed the house to discuss Achuthanandan’s accusation against Chandy.

“The rules of the assembly are very clear. If the speaker cannot allow us to raise the notice for an adjournment motion then the convention is that this can be raised as the first submission and this was disallowed. We want only justice and this was denied to us,” said Chandy.

The opposition shouted slogans against Achuthanandan in the well of the house, forcing the speaker to adjourn the assembly.

Achuthanandan had stirred a controversy by making derogatory remarks against the family of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who was killed fighting terrorists in Mumbai.

A day after Unnikrishnan’s grieving father chased away Achuthanandan from his Bangalore house, the chief minister told a TV channel in Malayalam: “Is there any rule that both the Karnataka and Kerala chief ministers should go together to his home? If not for Sandeep’s house, not even a dog would have gone there.”

However, the chief minister Wednesday denied having made the remark and had accused the media of misinterpreting his statement.

“The media and opposition parties have twisted my statement,” Achuthanandan said in the state assembly.

“I have not made the dog remark. People who made it can swallow it,” he added.

After leaving the assembly, Chandy told mediapersons that Achuthanandan had turned senile and must apologise for his remarks against Unnikrishnan’s family before resigning.

Achuthanandan later called a press conference and apologised for his remarks against Unnikrishnan’s family. However, he accused Chandy of having misquoted him.

“Oommen Chandy twisted what I said in the floor of the assembly. I am here to clarify that,” the chief minister said.

“I am sad that Sandeep’s family was hurt by my remark. I apologise for that,” he added.

The opposition has now submitted a letter to the speaker, saying that Achuthanandan has committed a breach of privilege by accusing Chandy of lying and suitable action be taken against him.

The treasury bench has also demanded that speaker take action against opposition member K.M. Mani of Kerala Congress (Mani) since he allegedly made baseless accusations that the chief minister had used derogatory words in his speech Wednesday.

The assembly session will resume Tuesday. CPI-M legislator P. Jayarajan told reporters that gettign the house adjourned was a ploy by the Congress to divert the attention from the central government’s failure in tackling terrorism.

“On Nov 24, Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the media at Kochi that the sea is a dangerous area and lot of attention has to be given because the sea route is an easy way for terrorists to come to the country. It has happened in Mumbai. Now the Congress in Kerala wants to cover up Antony’s lapse and are raising trivial issues,” said Jayarajan.