The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government will be on the defensive, mainly on account of the severe drubbing it got in the Lok Sabha elections, when the Assembly begins its monsoon session from Monday.
This is the first time that an Assembly session is being held within days after the announcement of results of Parliament elections. Since there is a grace period of 14 days for the four legislators who made it to the Lok Sabha to submit their resignation, they would be present in the House for a couple of days during which they would get time to bid adieu formally.
The Opposition United Democratic Front, which has suddenly got energised by the astounding electoral outcome, has made it clear that it would redefine its role in the Assembly. The fact that the by-election would have to be held soon to six Assembly seats that are falling vacant would also weigh on the LDF and the UDF as they marshal their resources during the session since the House would be putting Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac’s budget proposals to scrutiny during the debates on the demands for grants for various departments.
The session will begin after paying an obituary reference to K.M. Mani. There would be no sitting from May 30 to June 9.
From June 10, the Assembly will take up the demands for grants for various departments and the financial business will continue till July 5, during which the Finance Bill, the respective appropriation Bills and supplementary demands would be passed.
The entire pressure will be on the Finance Minister, who would have to stick to his budget proposals to mobilise additional revenue to make the budget a working preposition. He had to temporarily withdraw the proposed flood cess because of election imperatives and has dropped broad hints about resuming it.
Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala has already made the intentions of the UDF clear by terming the move to resume the flood cess as an act of cruelty against the people.
There are several other issues in the Opposition bag, including the alleged irregularities in the masala bond issue, particularly the part that the UDF maintains, has direct link to the blacklisted SNC Lavalin.
The UDF will certainly put the CPI(M) on the mat in connection with the cult of political violence and murders by citing the big setback that the party got in the Lok Sabha election.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will confront the Opposition charge by projecting the Rebuild Kerala Initiative, which has now been co-opted as the flag ship project of his Ministry.