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Left to boycott P J Kurien

Left to boycott P J Kurien

New Delhi: Left parties Tuesday said they will boycott Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien till his name is cleared in the Suryanelli rape case.

"We will not allow Kurien to sit in the Chair till his name is cleared of all charges and will protest in case he chairs the House proceedings," CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said.

He said, "the government cannot make a statement to his defence", saying, "this is a violation of the Constitution."

Yechury said since the court has ordered reopening of the case, "Kurien should not chair the House till the matter is not disposed of by the court.... Till his name is cleared, morally it is incumbent upon him not to sit in the Chair. We think it is completely untenable for him to sit in the Chair."

Reacting to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath's defence of the RS Deputy Chairman, Yechury said, "the executive cannot defend the officer of legislature" and Nath's defence amounts to "interference in the functioning of the Legislature".

He said the Left staged a walkout on the issue in Rajya Sabha today and he has raised a Point of Order in terms of Indian Constitution, a decision on which was expected from Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari.

The CPI-M leader said the Constitution is very clear that the centrality lies in the sovereignity of people and this sovergnity is exercised by the people through its elected members.

"Through this legislature that is Parliament, the executive that is government is accountable. Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha is the constitutional authiority of the House. He is an officer of the legislature. He is elected by us, the members and therefore, he is the property of the House.

"The House' responsibility is to make the government accountable. For the government to come in defence of an officer of the House is actually an interference in the functioning of the legislature," said Yechury.

The Left parties today staged a walkout in the Rajya Sabha opposing the government support to the beleaguered Kurien.

Kurien, a senior Congress leader from Kerala, has been under attack, particularly from Left parties, after the victim demanded recently that he be made an accused in the case.

Kurien recently met Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari as also Congress President Sonia Gandhi to explain his position and wrote to all Rajya Sabha members on the eve of the start of the Budget Session on February 21, insisting that there was no case against him and allegations against him were false.


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