LoP Satheesan accuses Minister Rajesh of trying to act as Speaker in House

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 11 (PTI) Leader of Opposition in the state assembly V D Satheesan on Thursday said that Parliamentary Affairs Minister M B Rajesh was attempting to regulate him by acting as the Speaker of the House.

Rajesh, on the other hand, said he was only criticising the manner in which the opposition leader was behaving in the House and Satheesan was free to accept or disregard it.

After the UDF opposition staged a walkout in protest against the denial of permission to an adjournment notice moved by it, Rajesh, in the absence of the LoP, said that Satheesan never yielded to ministers and used "pressure tactics" in the House, including against the Speaker.

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister said that often the LoP makes statements in his speeches which are baseless and when ministers seek to clarify, he does not yield to them.

He also said that Satheesan misuses the respect shown to him by the LDF in the House.

Rajesh said that he regrets making the criticisms in the absence of the opposition leader.

On returning to his seat after the staged walkout, Satheesan termed the minister's comments as "unfortunate".

He said that Rajesh accused him of speaking in an inappropriate manner against the State Higher Education Minister R Bindu on Thursday and Kerala Health Minister Veena George a day ago in the House.

Satheesan urged the Speaker to examine what he had said and if there was anything inappropriate in that, the same can be expunged, or he would himself withdraw it.

The opposition leader further claimed that Rajesh called him "arrogant, dismissive and contemptuous", and hit back at the minister by saying that these qualities are shown by someone else in the LDF.

"You (CPI-M) are presently holding discussions on who is showing those qualities," Satheesan said in a veiled reference to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Satheesan further alleged that Rajesh had been attacking him ever since the opposition raised corruption allegations against the Excise department in connection with the liquor policy.

Rajesh is also the state Excise Minister.

Bindu, meanwhile, said that the opposition leader pointed towards her and called her insolent.

Satheesan denied calling her insolent, but said that he would point the finger at her when he is criticising her acts as minister.

Intervening in the argument, Speaker A N Shamseer said that "gestures from both sides irritate both sides. Both sides should be careful about that". PTI HMP HMP KH