LDF boycotts House over `assault` on MLA

CPI-M-led LDF Opposition in Kerala on Friday boycotted assembly proceedings on the last day of the budget session to protest government.

Thiruvananthapuram: CPI-M-led LDF Opposition in Kerala on Friday boycotted assembly proceedings on the last day of the budget session to protest government`s "failure" to take action against a police officer who allegedly beat up CPI-M MLA K Dasan on March 14.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had assured the House that he
would look into the complaint and get back before today when
the issue was raised by Dasan, representing Quilandy segment,
on March 20.

Before the House took up futher discussion of Kerala
Appropriation Bill and Kerala Finance Bill today, Opposition
leader V S Achuthanandan wanted to know whether any action had
been taken against the erring police officer.

Chandy said as per police records and reports, the MLA was
not beaten up and was also not injured.

Irked over the attitude of the government on the matter,
CPI-M Deputy leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said it was
difficult for the Opposition to cooperate with government and
LDF was boycotting further proceedings for the day.

Dasan on March 20 had created a flutter by producing a
blood-stained shirt which, he claimed, was due to injuries
sustained when police `manhandled` him. The incident occurred
when he went to the police station at his constituency on
their request to settle a dispute between two parties.

Earlier during zero hour, Opposition staged a walkout
alleging that the Congress-led UDF government had surrendered
before the management of private self-financing professional
colleges run by Inter-Church Council by agreeing to their
demand of raising fees for engineering and medicine courses in
their colleges.

Replying to the notice for an adjournment motion on the
matter moved by Opposition, Chandy said government was in the
process of holding discussions with self-financing managements
and talks were in final stages.

Government and managements had reached consensus on
certain matters, Chandy said, adding, government wanted to
find a lasting solution to the problem.

For the first time, the Inter-Church Council has agreed
to admit students from government merit list in 50 per cent of
seats. Under the council there are four medical colleges and
11 engineering colleges. The annual fees would be Rs 75,000 for
engineering and Rs 3.75 lakh in medical colleges.

A new scheme for scholarship to help students in below
poverty line and low income group getting admission in these
colleges have also been worked out. The fees of SC and ST
students would be fully borne by government, he said.

Fees for engineering course in other private
self-financing professional colleges would be Rs 40,000 and Rs
65,000 in merit and management seats, an increase of Rs 5000
from last year in both categories.



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