The serial explosions from a political firecracker that was first lit on March 15 when Congress's Roji M John called Speaker A N Shamseer "spineless" continued unabated for the second consecutive day.
Roji's comments had caused PWD and tourism minister P A Muhammad Riyas to explode. He said all UDF MLAs possessed a spine of banana stem. The heat from this caused Opposition Leader V D Satheesan to explode, derisively calling Riyas a "management quota" product. Re-heated, Riyas said that Satheesan"s spine was pawned with the RSS.
On March 15, Onmanorama speculated that the cord on which the crackers were exploding - the question of spine strength - was too heated for the explosions to subside anytime soon. It was clear Satheesan would set the lighted match stick on Riyas's comment, especially that his spine was now mortgaged in RSS bank. He did on Thursday.
"See who is speaking about spine," Satheesan said. "Swapna Suresh had made a slew of allegations and these people have not moved a finger to question her in court," Satheesan said.
Riyas's charge of him having an under-the-table deal with the RSS seems to have offended Satheesan more. "To know who has a secret pact with the RSS, it is better to ask Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan," he said. "How many times have the Supreme Court set aside the SNC Lavalin case? What has happened to the Centre's probe into the gold smuggling scandal and the Life Mission bribery case? As return favour, the LDF government has settled the Kerala BJP's hawala money scandal," Satheesan said.
This was not all. "It was Kerala's Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who invited Gopalankutty and Valson Thillenkeri (RSS leaders) for secret talks and not us," Satheesan said.
Then, like the previous day, Satheesan made a personal attack on Riyas. Last day the PWD minister had remarked that Satheesan was a comparatively insignificant leader and suggested that he came to the Opposition Leader's chair through the backdoor.
Satheesan chose to attack Riyas's family connections, to give the impression that he was a beneficiary of nepotism. "Anyway, I am not working in a sponsored serial," Satheesan said, a nod to the allegation that Riyas was made minister because he is the Chief Minister's son-in-law. "He should consider himself lucky to become a minister the first time he became an MLA," Satheesan said and added by way contrast: "When this term ends, I will complete 25 years in the Assembly."
Onmanorama asked Satheesan why he was attacking Riyas personally. "He has no right to call UDF MLAs spineless," he said.
But that was in response to Roji calling the Speaker spineless. "That is for the Speaker to respond. Why should a minister who is not supposed to speak while tabling a report in floor of the house scream at us like that," Satheesan said.
But wasn't everyone breaking the rules? "Riyas was only trying to demonstrate that he was better than Shamseer," Satheesan said, hinting at the alleged ego tussle of the two young CPM leaders.
Here, Satheesan came up with what he called a "family conspiracy". "It is the family agenda to show the Speaker in a poor light. They want the Speaker to cut a sorry figure so that Riyas would look good. All this drama in the Assembly is part of a family gameplan," he said.
According to Satheesan, the Chief Minister is trying to kill two birds with a single shot: the Opposition UDF and his son-in-law's competitor Shamseer.