Kerala Budget Session ends on stormy note

The 29-day budget session of Kerala Assembly ended on a stormy note today with CPI-M led LDF opposition disrupting proceedings.

Thiruvananthapuram: The 29-day budget session of Kerala Assembly ended on a stormy note today with CPI-M led LDF opposition disrupting proceedings, demanding a judicial probe into alleged irregularities in cancelling a contract with BSNL for constructing campus buildings for Kerala Veterinary Allied and Science University in Waynad.

As Opposition raised slogans and some squatted in the well of the house, Speaker G Karthikeyan rushed through the other business for the day and adjourned the house sine die.

Replying to notice for an adjournment motion on the issue by V S Sunilkumar (CPI), Agriculture Minister K P Mohan refuted Opposition charge of corruption behind cancelling the contract for the Rs 165 crore Central government sponsored project.

Mohan said the University had only signed an MoU with BSNL and not a contract. The MoU was cancelled as it was found it would not be proper to have BSNL prepare the estimate, implement the project and also put up the bill, he said.

Rejecting the Opposition demand for a judicial probe, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said they were creating a smokescreen out of nothing as no decision had been taken on the issue. "How can the government order a probe on something that has not happened?" Chandy asked.

He said government has not violated any guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission on the matter, as alleged by the Opposition.

Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said they would not compromise on the issue as it was related to corruption.

Sunil Kumar alleged that the University had cancelled the contract with an ulterior motive of handing over the project to certain private parties. He also said government in its revised tender notice had relaxed bidders` conditions.

The House passed two legislations, including the Kerala State Right to Service Bill 2014, envisaging delivery of public services within a stipulated time and also fix responsibility on officials in case of delay and fault.

Amid protest from Opposition members, the house also took up for consideration and passed the Kerala Appropriation Bill-2012.


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