The deepening resentment against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the internecine feud between Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and the government as well as the Opposition are set to resonate in the 18th session of the Assembly that commences on Wednesday.
The budget session opens at a time when the State is caught in the vortex of the anti-CAA agitation and an acute resource crunch that is threatening to stall the functioning of the treasury.
The government has taken a strident stance against the objections of Mr. Khan against the references to CAA in the policy address, but has refused to budge from its stated position to expunge it to his satisfaction. The Opposition also toughened its stance against Mr. Khan.
It remains to be seen whether Mr. Khan will read or skip such portions in the address. Either way, it would not have any impact since it has been conclusively ruled that the address cleared by the Cabinet alone will be treated as valid.
Also, the notice on a resolution moved by the Opposition demanding the President to recall Mr. Khan is awaiting approval. Though the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has attempted to project the resolution as touchstone to test the genuineness of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government’s stance against Mr. Khan, the government seems to have sensed the ploy and is treading cautiously.
The mass protest organised by the LDF against the CAA and the participation of members of the minority communities, including Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), are set to figure in the course of discussions. The public pronouncements of certain IUML and senior Congress leaders in going hand in hand with the LDF in such protests would put the UDF on the defensive.
The UDF would flag the arrest of two CPI(M) activists from Pantheerankavu in Kozhikode invoking the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the divergent views aired by some CPI(M) leaders on the issue to confront the government.
The financial curbs imposed by the Centre, the drastic cut in Central transfers under various heads, including GST compensation, and the reported threat raised against fiscal federalism would also dominate the discussions.