Congress-led UDF attacks Vijayan government over Mani, DGP posting

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Congress-led UDF attacks Vijayan government over Mani, DGP posting

Thiruvananthapuram, May 2 (IANS) The Congress-led opposition in Kerala on Tuesday created ruckus in the state Assembly demanding the resignation of state Power Minister M.M. Mani for his disparaging remarks on women workers, and over the Pinarayi Vijayan government failing to reinstate T.P. Senkumar as state police chief despite orders by the Supreme Court.

As soon as the assembly opened for question hour, the opposition was up in arms shouting slogans demanding the resignation of Mani for his disparaging remarks on women plantation workers last month.

Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan asked the Opposition to remain quiet amid the din. Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala then said that they did not wish to disrupt the assembly as issues concerning the people were being discussed.

“But Congress legislator P.T. Thomas will now approach the Kerala High Court with a special petition against Mani for action following his curt remarks against women plantation workers,” said Chennithala, after which the question hour went ahead.

After Question Hour, senior opposition legislator M. Ummer of the IUML sought leave for an adjournment motion, saying the Constitution has been breached by Vijayan, as even after eight days of the apex court order to reinstate Senkumar, he had failed to carry it out.

“You (Vijayan) have violated the oath of secrecy, as you are yet to act on the apex court order on reinstatement of Senkumar. When the verdict came, you said the details are awaited. But the same day the 56-page judgement was made available. Now even after a week, you are still dilly dallying, which is a clear sign of disrespect to the apex court. All your arguments against Senkumar, raised by one of the country’s highest paid lawyers, was dismissed. No one knows if Kerala has a state police chief now. What is being said is that a former state police chief who is now your advisor is running the show… This is not acceptable,” said Ummer.

In his reply, Vijayan said: “We are on the job of reinstating Senkumar as the state police chief.”

“We are duty bound to comply with the order. It will be done. The due process of law to implement the order is being done. It must be recalled that the Central Administrative Tribunal and the Kerala High Court ruled in favour of the state government, but the apex court ruled in favour of Senkumar. We will certainly comply with the order,” said Vijayan.

Unhappy with the answer, Leader of Opposition Chennithala asked Vijayan if he can tell the people of Kerala who the state police chief is.

Vijayan failed to give an answer. There was thumping of desks when Chennithala pointed out that such a situation has never arisen in Kerala.

“The silence of Vijayan on naming the state police chief reveals that a grave situation is prevailing in the state. When the executive fails, the judiciary steps in and that’s what has happened in Kerala now. And if you try to delay the officer’s reinstatement by filing a revision petition, it won’t even reach the gate of the Supreme Court. You told the assembly that Senkumar is not fit to hold the post of the state police chief. You should never have said that and all the material that you produced to prove it, fell flat,” said Chennithala.

When the Speaker disallowed the adjournment motion, Chennithala led a walk out with the entire opposition.

Meanwhile, Senkumar’s petition against State Chief Secretary Nalini Netto for failing to abide by the apex court order to reinstate him is to come up before the Supreme Court on Friday.

In the another development, the Director General of police Jacob Thomas who heads the Vigilance Department on Tuesday extended his leave.

This has come as a blessing in disguise for Vijayan, as the present state police chief Loknath Behra who will have to move out to accommodate Senkumar will be made the Vigilance chief.

All eyes are on Wednesday’s cabinet meeting and it remains to be seen if Vijayan will hand out the order or will he wait till Friday.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.