Thiruvananthapuram: Using verses from the Holy Quran, CPI(M)-led LDF Opposition on Tuesday tried to corner IUML leader and Education Minister PK Abdu Rabb, in the state Assembly, on the issue of delay in distribution of school textbooks for the current academic year.
Moving a submission on the matter, R Rajesh (CPI-M) said the Education Department had failed to distribute textbooks on time even though the minister had assured the House that by July 20 distribution process would be completed.
Quoting from Quran, he said the holy book exhorted followers to "read and learn", but in Kerala school students were denied this right.
Even two months after the schools reopened in the state, textbooks have not yet been distributed to students,he said.
Rajesh also reminded the minister that the Quran had professed not only to provide 'Sakkath' (alms) but also to fulfil the promises made.
Countering the opposition's attack, Rabb said there had been no laxity on the government's part on the matter and took a dig at the MLA saying he was happy that a Communist legislator had read the Quran.
The minister also denied the allegation that printing of the books had been delayed 'deliberately' to help the private sector, and said change in curriculum and some technical issues at the Kerala Books and Publications Society (KBPS) had caused the delay.
Only about a lakh textbooks were pending distribution and it would be carried out in the coming days, Rabb said.
The textbook row had rocked the Kerala Assembly last week also leading to a walkout by the Opposition.
Following the Opposition pressure, the government later decided to retain the printing with the state-run KBPS itself.