The UDF's attempt to throw the CPM on the mat by bringing election violence as the major point of discussion in the Assembly on Monday was thwarted by Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan.
Muslim League MLA N A Nellikkunnu moved an adjournment motion seeking discussion on the alleged attempt by Uduma MLA K Kunhiraman to threaten a presiding officer during the local body polls on December 14.
The Speaker refused permission saying the alleged act had happened over a month ago and was under the consideration of the State Election Commission (SEC) and therefore, was not something that required urgent attention.
The Opposition walked out in protest though the Speaker granted Nellikkunnu to raise the issue as the first Submission of the day. Raising the issue as a Submission will take out the possibility of a detailed discussion, which is guaranteed when an adjournment motion is moved.
Nonetheless, after staging a quick walk out, Nellikkunnu raised the issue as the first Submission.
His charge was that the Uduma MLA had threatened to break the legs of a presiding officer at a polling station in Kasaragod. The charge was first made by the presiding officer, K M Sreekumar, himself, through a Facebook post.
Nellikkunnu wanted to know whether the chief minister supported the MLA'S action.
The Uduma MLA, on his part, told the House that that he had not threatened the presiding officer as alleged. "When I went to vote, I saw the presiding officer exchanging heated words with voters standing in the queue. Initially, I didn't even realise it was the presiding officer as he had a mask on. But when I intervened, he behaved rudely with me. Still I was polite. I called him sir. 'Sir, you please go inside,' I told him. But he spoke insultingly. So I filed a complaint with the district collector," he said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, when his turn came, asked whether anyone could believe that someone like Kunhuraman could issue the kind of threat he had been accused of. "If you want to make a threat, you should also look the part. I don't think anyone would say that Kunhiraman has such a look," Vijayan said. Such a description of Kunhiraman looked odd as Kunhiraman was a tall well built man who walks with a regal bearing.
The chief minister also said that the presiding officer was checking the ID of voters standing in a queue, which is the job of the polling officer and not that of the presiding officer.
Further, the chief minister said that the SEC had sought a report from the Kasaragod district collector on the issue. He also said that though the presiding officer has not filed a police complaint against the Uduma MLA, the Kasaragod Crime Branch DySP has been asked to look into the allegation on the basis of newspaper reports.
Then, as if to prove that the UDF cannot claim the moral high ground when it comes to political violence, the chief minister said of the 113 election-related cases registered in Kasaragod, 38 were filed by LDF workers and 37 by UDF workers.