Uproar In House Over Hooting Incident

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   (2012-07-13 00:00:00)

Members of the Opposition stalled the proceedings of the Assembly on Thursday by squatting in the well of the House and shouting slogans alleging that some ruling front members had “hooted’’ at Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan.

The demonstration occurred at the end of a discussion on a notice for an adjournment motion, moved by former Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran, for taking up the issue of widespread wetland reclamation in the State. As Mr. Achuthanandan was leading a walkout in protest against “the government’s attitude on the subject” a hooting chorus of three or four voices from the Treasury Benches greeted his back.

This prompted the Opposition members, who were walking out of the House, to turn on their heels and congregate by the side of the front row shouting back. They soon sat down in a ring in the well of the House loudly proclaiming they would not sit in the House until action was taken against the members who had caused the “offence.”

Speaker G. Karthikeyan adjourned the House temporarily and called senior leaders from either side to his chamber to seek a way out of the gridlock.

Thirty minutes afterwards he returned to his seat and said that a solution was not forthcoming.

“Let me examine the [recorded] visuals and then appropriate decision shall be taken,” he said.

He went on to seek the cooperation of all members to take forward the proceedings of the House. Today we are taking up the Finance Bill. Several of our Bills had to be passed without any discussion due to such issues. That is not the ideal practice,” Mr. Karthikeyan said.

After a moment’s indecision and then discussion among themselves, the Opposition members resumed their demonstration, prompting the Speaker to guillotine the rest of the proceedings of the day.