Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Legislative Assembly to have a one-day session on Monday to pass Finance Bill. The session will also witness a non-confidence motion initiated by opposition front- UDF alleging nexus of Chief Minister's office with the gold smuggling racket.
Congress MLA V D Satheesan had given the notice for no-confidence motion stating that the assembly has lost confidence in the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government and hence permission may be given to present the notice.
Sources reports that a five-hour discussion might be allowed on the no-confidence motion notice. The ruling left front is having a comfortable majority of about 90 seats in 140-member Assembly and hence the no-confidence motion did not pose much threat to the government.
Meanwhile,a rift has emerged in the opposition ranks in Kerala as one of the factions of the Kerala Congress-Mani has issued a whip to its two legislators to stay away from the no-confidence motion, which will be moved by the Congress-led UDF against the Pinarayi Vijayan government on August 24.
The party's chief whip, Roshy Augustine said that he has issued the whip which will be applicable to him and party legislator N. Jayaraj.
"We are not in the UDF as we have been ousted, so the UDF whip is not applicable to us. Moreover, the whip has to be issued by the respective party whip. I have issued the whip and it's to stay away from it (from the motion). We have not decided on if we need to be present in the house when the motion is moved, or if we need to stay away from the house," he said.
On August 24, along with the no-confidence motion, another event is the Rajya Sabha bypoll to fill in the vacancy caused by the death of sitting member and media baron M.P. Veerendra Kumar.
Augustine said he and his fellow legislator will not participate in this too.
The erstwhile Kerala Congress-Mani was founded by K.M. Mani, who passed away last year.
Since his death for all practical purposes, the party is divided between veteran legislator P.J. Joseph who has three legislators, including himself, and the other faction led by Mani's son and Rajya Sabha member Jose K. Mani, who has two legislators.
The UDF, after failing to prevail upon Jose K. Mani to withdraw his party nominee from the poll to a local body in Kottayam, purportedly removed the KC-Mani from the combine, but later UDF Chairman and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala clarified that it was a "media creation" and no one has been ousted from the UDF.
However, since then, the faction headed by Jose Mani has been keeping a distance from the UDF.
At the same time, an all-party meeting convened by the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday decided to pass a joint resolution in the state Assembly to protest against the centre's decision to privatise Thiruvananthapuram airport. The Congress
The Congress will be supporting the resolution, while the lone BJP member may not back it.
Though the opposition had given a notice seeking removal of Speaker P Sreeramakrishan for his alleged links with gold smuggling accused former UAE consulate employee Swapna Suresh, that notice would not be considered as it did not meet the mandatory requirement that such notices should be given 14 days in advance.
(With inputs from different agencies)