THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Several ruling front MLAs were up on their feet protesting when P.J. Joseph, who resigned as a Minister and crossed over to the Opposition benches recently, was called by the chair to participate in a discussion on the demands for various departments, including the Public Works Department (PWD), in the Assembly on Monday.
Their objection was countered with equal force by the Opposition MLAs, particularly Joseph M. Puthusserry and P.C. George, who maintained that Mr. Joseph, as an MLA, had the right to participate in the discussion. The objection from the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) was first aired by P. Jayarajan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). As soon as Mr. Joseph took the mike, Mr. Jayarajan asked if it was proper for someone who had been in the Council of Ministers that approved the State Budget to speak against the demands for grants in the budget.
The House heard loud exchanges for several minutes. Deputy Speaker Jose Baby, who was in the chair, asked the MLAs to be quiet. Senior members from either side had to intervene before the former Minister could commence his speech.