Thiruvananthapuram,: Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan on Wednesday slammed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his son-in-law, State Minister for Public Works and Tourism P.A. Mohamed Riyas for “enacting a family agenda to portray Speaker A.M. Shamseer in a poor light”.
On Wednesday, the Assembly complex turned into a battle ground first inside the floor of the Assembly and then in front of the Speaker’s office when the opposition legislators and the Watch and Ward staff were engaged in a free for all. A few opposition legislators and Watch and Ward members suffered bruises and had to seek medical attention.
Later, after things cooled down, speaking to the media Satheesan turned his ire towards Riyas and said, “what’s now happening is the implementation of a family agenda to project Shamseer in poor light”.
What irked Satheesan was the Speaker told Riyas to lay important papers on the table of the House when a huge protest of the opposition legislators was taking place in the well of the House. Riyas instead of doing that slammed the opposition by saying, “they have a spine made out of plantain stem”.
“Despite the best efforts of engaging in public relations work, the image of son-in-law (Riyas) is not matching to that of Shamseer and that has hurt some. And to throw muck on Shamseer, the family agenda is being followed,” said Satheesan.
“What right has Riyas to call the opposition such names, when all know how he became a minister under the ‘management quota’,” asked Satheesan.
Incidentally, Shamseer, who is senior to Riyas, was not included in the cabinet by CM Pinarayi Vijayan in his second term (2021), instead first-time legislator Riyas, who had married Vijayan’s daughter Veena Vijayan in 2020, turned out to be the dark horse.
Since then Shamseer was upset, and it was last year following a minor shake up, that he was made the Speaker after the then speaker M.B. Rajesh was made a Minister.
The opposition claims that the family agenda is to turn the opposition against Speaker Shamseer.
Meanwhile, Riyas while reacting to Satheesan’s barb said that “Satheesan is an egoistic person who apart from being a legislator for 20 years has nothing to his credit… Doubt if he became the Leader of Opposition through the backdoor”.
“It has now become a habit for Satheesan to abuse state Ministers, but we wish to tell him that they have the support of the people, not like him, whose agenda is a secret pact with the Sangh Parivar forces. Has he spoken a word against the Union budget and also when the price of cooking gas was hiked, and this is because of the secret pact he has with the Sangh Parivar forces. He is a traitor,” slammed Riyas.
Meanwhile, angry Youth Congress workers staged a protest march to the house of Riyas at his hometown in Kozhikode.
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