Kerala: Speaker rejects 600-plus amendments from Opposition prompting a walkout by UDF

Thiruvananthapuram: The UDF stormed out of the House on Thursday, protesting the Speaker's arbitrary decision to reject 600-plus amendments proposed by opposition members to the University Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The amendments were rejected, according to Speaker M B Rajesh, because they arrived after the deadline set by the Legislature Secretariat.

He said the Legislature Secretariat was forced to reschedule Assembly proceedings due to a natural disaster in mid-October and the decision to cancel three days of sittings last week. As a result, the deadline for submitting amendments to the University Laws has been set for October 26 at noon.

"Even then, we extended the deadline to 2 p.m., and we accepted all amendments submitted by 4 p.m.," said the Speaker. He claimed that the rejections arrived after 5 p.m. "Even if the employees had sat through the night, the Legislature Secretariat could not have processed these late amendments," the Speaker said. Opposition Leader V D Satheesan, on the other hand, claimed that amendments submitted between 2 and 4 p.m. were also rejected. This elicited no response from the Speaker.

Satheesan stated that the members of the Opposition had put in a lot of effort to come up with these amendments. "What law are you attempting to enact without taking into account the amendments proposed by the Opposition?" he asked. He then told the Speaker that if the Opposition amendments were accepted, the UDF would cooperate with the legislative process. Satheesan requested that the University Laws (Amendment) Bill be debated at a later date. The University Laws Bill addresses major changes in the way autonomous colleges operate.

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