Governor says no to special one-day Kerala Assembly session
Thiruvananthapuram, December 22, 2020
In a setback to the Pinarayi Vijayan government, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Tuesday refused to give his nod to the holding of a special one-day session of the Kerala legislative Assembly, a day after asking for an explanation for the need to convene the session.
With this, the one-day session scheduled for Wednesday will not take place.
This special session was called by the Vijayan government to pass a resolution against the contentious farm laws introduced by the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre.
Governor Khan had on Monday asked the reason for holding the session following which the government gave two explanations. However, on Tuesday evening the Governor said he was not convinced, giving rise to the speculation that this might be the beginning of a clash between the state government and the Governor.
According to sources, Khan is believed to have taken the decision that there is no urgency as the budget session of the Assembly will be held in January.
State Agriculture Minister V. S. Sunilkumar said, "We went by the rules as the decision to convene the Assembly rests with the cabinet and such a thing has taken place for the first time in the history of the state.
"This is definitely a serious political issue and even the Congress-led opposition had backed this session. We are waiting for the Chief Minister, who is outside the district, to return. A few other states have also held special Assembly sessions for this."
The special session was planned for one hour and only the party leaders representing the various political outfits were supposed to speak and at the end the resolution was supposed to be passed.
In the 140-member Kerala Assembly, the BJP has a lone member in O. Rajagopal and hence it was most likely that the resolution would have been passed unanimously.
Chief Minister Vijayan had said earlier that Kerala will seek legal recourse against the farm laws and the special session was seen as the first step to that.
The three farm laws -- the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 -- were passed by both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in September.
Incidentally, Kerala in January this year became the first state in the country to file a suit in the Supreme Court against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), after which the other states also followed suit.