The Congress-led UDF opposition on Friday boycotted Governor Arif Mohammad Khan's policy address in the Kerala Assembly on the first day of the budget session. In a massive ruckus that ensued as soon as the Assembly session began, Congress-led Opposition demanded the resignation of Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan who was facing allegations in connection with the dollar smuggling case. In the visuals from inside the Assembly, opposition legislators were seen holding banners and posters, and were heard raising slogans against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Speaker.
As the Governor began his speech detailing the achievements and performances, the sloganeering continued. "I am doing my constitutional duty...it is expected that no obstruction will be created while the Governor is performing constitutional duties. You have already raised enough slogans... Don't interrupt me," the Governor told the opposition. The protesting opposition MLAs then staged a walked out of the Assembly hall and staged a sit-in at its portal.
ഡോളർ കടത്തിൽ സംശയത്തിന്റെ നിഴലിൽ നിൽക്കുന്ന കേരളാ നിയമസഭാ സ്പീക്കർ രാജി വെക്കണം എന്ന ആവശ്യം ഉന്നയിച്ച് പ്രതിപക്ഷം വാക്ക്ഔട്ട് നടത്തി. സഭാകവാടത്തിൽ പ്രതിഷേധം നടത്തി. pic.twitter.com/Bj53CJdj1j— Congress Kerala (@INCKerala) January 8, 2021
Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan's assistant private secretary has been summoned by Customs officials in Kochi in connection with the dollar smuggling case. The Customs department served a notice to the official, K Ayyappan, at his residential address.Ayyappan was responsible for charting out the speaker's daily programmes and travel-related matters, PTi quoted sources.The notice asking Ayyappan to appear for questioning was delivered at his residential address hours after the Speaker maintained that his prior permission was required to interrogate a member of his personal staff.
The central agency had earlier issued summons to Ayyappan at his official address in connection with the probe into the case related to alleged smuggling of USD 1,90,000 (equivalent to Rs 1.30 crore) by a former finance head of the UAE Consulate here to Muscat in Oman. The currency matter came to light during the course of investigation into smuggling of gold using diplomatic channels. The speaker had come under criticism from the Opposition for inaugurating the shop of one of the accused in the gold smuggling case, Sandeep Nair, months ago.