Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Thursday (July 23) decided to recommend to state governor Arif Mohammed Khan to put off the one-day session of the state assembly slated for July 27, in view of the prevailing situation due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The state Cabinet, chaired by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, met in Thiruvananthapuram and took a decision in this connection, government sources said.

The government had earlier decided to hold the session to discuss the 2020-21 Finance Bill. In the backdrop of the coronavirus scare, the Kerala Assembly had adjourned sine die on March 13.

The state had reported its highest single day surge of 1,038 cases on Wednesday, taking the infection tally to over 15,000.

Meanwhile, slamming the government for not convening the house, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the decision was "politically motivated".

The Opposition Congress-led UDF had decided to move a no confidence motion against the government as part of its protest seeking resignation of Vijayan alleging that his office had links with some accused in the gold smuggling case.

An IUML member had also served notice to the Assembly secretary seeking resignation of speaker P Sreeramakrishnan, for his alleged links with the accused in the case.

"We will not go back on our demand for the chief minister's resignation as he has lost the moral right to continue," Chennithala told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram. The government was afraid to discuss the no confidence motion so decided not to have the session, he alleged.

The Opposition and the BJP had staged protests targeting the left government and demanding Vijayan's resignation after reports emerged that a key woman accused in the smuggling case had worked in a Space Park project under the state IT department, a portfolio held by Vijayan.

Vijayan's private secretary and IT secretary M Sivasankar was later removed. The case relates to the attempt to smuggle about 30 kg of gold through diplomatic baggage, which was seized from the Thiruvananthapuram international airport on July 5. The customs and National Investigation Agency (NIA) are investigating the case.

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