Members of the ruling LDF and the Opposition locked horns in the Kerala Assembly on Tuesday over a travel ban imposed on CPM secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's son by a Dubai court in a cheating case.
While the CPM-led LDF maintained that the government had nothing to do with the ban on Binoy Kodiyeri, the Congress-led UDF wanted it to be discussed in the House and staged a walkout after being denied permission by the Speaker. The zero hour witnessed a war of words between the treasury and opposition benches.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the travel ban and the cheating case were part of a business dispute between two individuals and the CPM, Kodiyeri and Binoy had already made their stand clear on it.
Pinarayi said though there had been instances of relatives of political leaders being involved in cases, Parliamentary and Assembly space was never used to discuss the matters. "The state government or the Assembly has nothing to do with the issue. The Opposition has a hidden agenda in raising the matter in the House. It is part of an attempt to insult the CPM and Kodiyeri," the CM said.
The CM also slammed the Opposition for linking the recently organised Loka Kerala Sabha, an initiative of the government to connect Malayalis across the world with their home state, to the allegations.
Seeking a notice for an adjournment motion over the issue, Congress MLA Anil Akkara said the cheating case and the travel ban had brought 'disgrace' to the Keralite expatriate community across the world. There was an attempt to cheat people in the name of Loka Kerala Sabha, the MLA alleged.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the complainant in the case had approached CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury in New Delhi. The issue was only a "tip of the iceberg", he alleged.
Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan, who repeatedly requested the Opposition to step back from raising the issue in the Assembly, disallowed an ajournment motion, following which the rival parties walked out of the House.
The Dubai court imposed the ban on Binoy on February 1 based on a complaint by Dubai-based JAAS Tourism which alleged that he had cheated it of Rs 13 crore. Binoy, who is now in Dubai, has been asked to deposit his passport with the court.
(With PTI inputs)