Thiruvanthapuram, Aug 21: Five legislators of the Congress-led opposition in the Kerala Assembly on Monday began an indefinite fast in the foyer of the House demanding sacking of Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, who is facing nepotism charges. The Kerala High Court in its judgement last week observed that Shailaja had misused her office to appoint a member to the state Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
MLAs on fast seeking Kerala HM's removal
After raising their demand on the floor of the assembly, as Shailaja rose to move a Bill, they starting protesting against her.
Angry opposition members were seen tearing the Bill and throwing it in the air. Later they walked out of the House. Thereafter, five opposition legislators V.P. Sajeendran, Eldose Kunpally, Rogi M. John, N. Shamsudeen and T.V. Ibrahim began an indefinite fast in the foyer of the assembly demanding Shailaja’s ouster. Earlier in the assembly, Congress legislator Shafi Parambil, seeking leave for an adjournment motion, pointed out that it was perhaps the first such instance when a minister was continuing in office despite adverse remarks by the court. “This is not an observation but a finding that has come in the fil judgement,” Parambil said.
The minister had extended the fil date for inviting applications for making appointment as members to the commission and that aspirants with a doctorate in Child Rights were left out, the Congress member pointed out.
“One of the persons appointed by the minister had applied after the date was extended... The judgement said this amounts to misuse of power, which incidentally is also a violation of the oath of secrecy,” Parambil said. Dismissing the opposition’s demand, Chief Minister Pirayi Vijayan said the question of seeking the minister’s resigtion “is ruled out”. Shailaja later told reporters that there was no reason for her to quit now, as there had been a number of instances where ministers had held on to their posts. “The only reason the date was extended was to ensure that more applicants could apply,” said Shailaja. (IANS)