Kerala Budget: Why K M Mani will face the heat in the House tomorrow
The Opposition has even threatened that Mani would not be allowed to attend the Assembly to present the budget.
The ruling UDF and the Opposition LDF in Kerala are gearing up for a showdown in the state capital on Friday when Finance Minister K M Mani would present the state budget for the next fiscal. The LDF had threatened to prevent Mani from presenting the budget on account of the bar bribe charge he has been facing.
The Opposition has announced their plan to prevent Mani from entering the Assembly on Friday morning. Thousands of Left workers from Thiruvananthapuram district would block all roads and gates leading to the Assembly complex. Within the Assembly building, the Opposition legislators plan to block Mani at all five gates of the Assembly hall.
Bharatiya Yuva Morcha would also join the agitation from late Thursday night with its activists laying siege to the Assembly.
On the other hand, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that Mani would certainly present the budget. The Opposition has no right to prevent a democratically-elected government, which enjoys majority, from presenting the budget, he said.
City police have made elaborate arrangements in the wake of the agitation. All educational institutions in the city limits would remain closed on Friday.
City police commissioner H Venkitesh said 2500 policemen would be deployed in the city. Surveillance cameras have been made ready at major points in the city. Those who destroy public properties during the agitation would be identified and charged with criminal cases, said the commissioner.
The CPI (M) has already threatened to prevent Mani from entering the complex on Friday morning if he returns to the House today evening. LDF would finalise the agitation on Thursday evening.
Mani is also mulling the option of staying back at the Assembly complex on Thursday night to take the wind out of LDF’s planned agitation.
It has been a practice for Mani, who is slated to present his 13th budget on Friday, to attend the Mass at a local church on budget day. In a departure from past tradition, Mani went to the church on Thursday, which was construed as part of his plan not to step out of the Assembly tonight. However, Mani on Thursday said he would be coming to the Assembly from his official residence.
Meanwhile, the Opposition on Thursday stalled proceedings at the Assembly after the latest release of the audio recordings of bar hotel owners indicated that Congress ministers Ramesh Chennithala, K Babu and V S Shivakumar had taken money from them. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the latest audio release was only meant to add fuel to the LDF agitation planned on Friday.
Source:: Indian Express