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Thiruvananthapuram, August 24, 2020
At the day-long Assembly session on Monday, called to pass the Finance Bill, the Congress-led opposition's demand for a motion for removal of Speaker of the Assembly P. Sreeramakrishnan was disallowed, which led to verbal exchanges between the treasury and opposition benches.
Questioning the way the Speaker disallowed the motion, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said it's a shame that the Speaker's name is being linked to people in the gold smuggling case.
Sreeramakrishnan came under scrutiny after he had gone to inaugurate a small business venture of Sandeep Nair, who is now one of those arrested in the controversial gold smuggling case. He apparently went for the inauguration after he was called for it by the prime accused in the same case -- Swapna Suresh.
"Speaker, you cannot escape using technicalities. What you should have done is to have vacated the chair, and come and sit with us, for taking up the motion moved by our member M. Ummer. But you say the motion cannot be taken up because it does not comply with the prescribed days that are needed to take up such a motion. On the one hand, you talk about rules, while on the other hand, the notice for this one-day sitting was called without the rules," said Chennithala.
Replying to Chennithala's charge, Sreeramakrishnan said all that he can do is to go by the rule books and the Constitution.
"You (Chennithala) know, the List of Business on Monday was finalised after discussing with you and the only listed business of the day is the no-confidence motion. You should know that the prescribed number of days to call a session can be shortened under extraordinary times and that has been done and hence the motion cannot be taken," said Sreeramakrishnan.
Batting for Sreeramakrishnan was State Law Minister A. K. Balan who demanded that all the statements made against the Speaker should be expunged.