BJP's LS poll victory, state liquor policy row to dominate Kerala Assembly session

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jun 9 (PTI) The 28-day Kerala Legislative Assembly session, set to commence on Monday, is expected to be stormy as the opposition Congress-led UDF is likely to target the Left government in the state over a host of issues ranging from the recent liquor policy row to its humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.

The House is being convened for the first time after the announcement of the results of the April 26 Lok Sabha polls, in which the UDF won 18 seats and the ruling LDF and the BJP one each.

While the UDF MLAs would attend the session with regained confidence and strength following their historic success in the general elections, the legislators of the CPI (M)-led LDF would struggle to find political narratives to defend their mass drubbing.

Armed with the poll victory, the UDF MLAs will look to sharpen their attack in the Assembly against the Marxist party, especially against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who had criticised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi throughout the election campaign.

The LDF legislators would seek to defend the failure, saying they had won just one seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls but come back with a bang in the local body election and assembly polls held in the state during the later years.

The House is also expected to witness an intense blame game between the two traditional fronts over the BJP opening its maiden account in Kerala by winning the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat with a massive majority.

While the Congress would accuse the CPI (M) over BJP's actor-turned politician Suresh Gopi's victory in Thrissur, the latter is likely to turn the table on the grand old party for the blooming of lotus.

The raging controversy over the LDF government's liquor policy is also likely to find an echo in the state assembly.

While the Congress-led UDF recently accused the state government of taking bribes to 'favour' bar owners, the Left claimed that it has not yet held any deliberations over its liquor policy.

The opposition has already alleged that Tourism Ministers P A Mohammed Riyas and Excise Minister M B Rajesh had a role in the "scam." Chief Minister Vijayan's family tour abroad soon after the LS polls, central agency probe and fresh allegations against his daughter's now-defunct IT company, the irregular disbursal of social welfare pensions, the state's poor financial positions, and so on are also likely to make the upcoming Assembly session stormy.

Speaker A N Shamseer on Saturday had said that the 11th session of the 15th Kerala Legislative Assembly would commence on June 10 and conclude on July 25.

He said the 28-day-long session was being convened to discuss in detail and pass the budget requests for the financial year 2024-25.

Of the 28 days of the session, 13 days -- from June 11 to July 8 -- have been reserved for discussing and passing the money requests; five days have been allocated for non-official business and eight for government business. PTI LGK ROH

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