Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala House witnessed uproarious scenes on Thursday as the no-confidence motion moved by Indian Union Muslim League MLA, M Ummer against Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan was rejected by the House. The House rejected a resolution moved by the Opposition UDF seeking removal of Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan over allegations against him in the dollar smuggling case and ‘irregularities’ in modifications undertaken in the legislature complex.
After a tempestuous debate on the resolution, the Congress-led United Democratic Front members walked out dissatisfied with Sreeramakrishnan’s reply dismissing the charges. This was the first time in last 17 years a resolution for removal of the Speaker was moved in the state assembly. In the past, such resolutions had been moved against A C Jose and Vakkom Purushothaman, both of UDF.
On the penultimate day of the 14th assembly session, the last before the elections likely in next few months, the House witnessed heated exchanges as the discussion on the resolution extended for nearly four hours with ruling and opposition benches exchanging barbs. While the UDF attacked the Speaker citing allegations against him in the dollar case and that he had links with the accused in the gold smuggling racket, Sreeramakrishnan and the Left Democratic Front rejected the charges, saying they were made based on ‘hearsay’ and some media reports.
Lone BJP member in the House O Rajagopal supported the resolution and said the Speaker should be a model to the rest of the members. The dollar case, busted by the Customs, relating to alleged smuggling of USD 1,90,000 (equivalent to Rs 1.30 crore) by a former finance head of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram to Muscat in Oman in which two prime accused in the gold smuggling case are among the accused.