‘Revealing action on solar report is breach of Assembly privilege’
Through this act, the Chief Minister’s attempt was to keep the House in the dark and reap political gains. Action should be initiated against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the grave matter K C Joseph, Congress MLA
HECTIC activity prevailed in the Congress camp on Thursday to take upon the government and the Chief Minister by raising a privilege issue over the disclosures from the Solar Commission report and resorting to actions like a vigilance probe and slapping of corruption and rape cases, even before publishing the report. KC Joseph M LA, Congress legislature party deputy leader and former minister, filed a complaint with Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan, pointing out a breach of privilege of House members, on this score.
The state Congress leadership is in no mood to wait till the mandatory presentation of the report in the Assembly, on account of the political significance attached to it and the government making its intention amply clear and as a political vendetta is out in the open. Building up a defence politically and legally has become crucial for the Congress and the UDF, it is surmised.
Former CM Oommen Chandy has filed an application under the RTI, to the Chief Secretary seeking a copy of the Solar Commission report. He told Express that in the event of denying the details of the report, he would proceed legally to avail of the copy.
Finding grave fault with the government and the Chief Minister for disclosing the contents without tabling the report in an appropriate manner and announcing a probe, the Congress leadership believes that what was presented as conclusions and findings of the Commission were only political versions of it and set goals of the ruling CPM.
However, tagging charges of sexual harassment and rape on Congress personalities has jolted the leadership to seriously address the point as registering FIRs on this score would put many in a piquant situation including arrests, though it is sure to raise a hornet’s nest politically, the net result of which would be unpredictable. The upcoming revamp in the state unit will also make the going tough for the Congress in such a scenario.
K C Joseph, in his complaint to the Assembly Speaker, along with an attachment of the press note circulated at the Chief Minister’s press conference the other day, pointed out that it is for the first time in the history of the state that a Chief Minister had explained the contents of a Commission report before publishing or tabling it in the Assembly.
There is no legal hurdle in publishing the report before presenting it in the Assembly. But announcing the action taken or to be taken on the report in a press conference instead of doing it in the Assembly is a breach of privilege of the House. “The precedent followed was to present a Commission report with a statement of the action taken report in the House,’’ Joseph said.