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Women’s Wall: Kerala Assembly in turmoil, MLAs come to blows

The opposition Congress-led UDF has been up in arms against the Pinarayi Vijayan government for turning Sabarimala into a police fortress, causing innumerable hardships to the pilgrims.

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Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 13 : Kerala MLAs came to blows on Thursday inside the Assembly after the opposition called the upcoming Women’s Wall event on New Year’s Day meant to take forward gender equality, “nothing but a communal wall that will be dismantled”.

The Assembly session, which concluded on Thursday, has been facing turmoil right from the beginning of the 13-day session, coinciding with the ongoing Sabarimala pilgrimage amid prohibitory orders.

The opposition Congress-led UDF has been up in arms against the Pinarayi Vijayan government for turning Sabarimala into a police fortress, causing innumerable hardships to the pilgrims.

On Thursday, as the question hour ended, Deputy Leader of Opposition and senior Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) member M.K. Muneer sought to move an adjournment motion to discuss the Women’s Wall programme of the state government.

Vijayan responded saying that the event was being held to take forward the ideology of gender equality and uphold the dignity of women.

“If you (the opposition) are against this, please say that. We assure the House, no government money is being spent for this programme. The state government is just taking part to see that the ideology of great reformer Sree Narayana Guru is taken forward,” he told the Assembly.

Vijayan asked the opposition: “How can you all say that this is a communal event?” His speech was greeted by the treasury benches by thumping the desk.

Then, Muneer got up to speak. He said: “Like in West Germany, if the Berlin wall was dismantled, the Women’s Wall, which is a communal wall would be dismantled.”

That was all that he could say, and the entire treasury bench was up on their feet, sloganeering.

They trooped to the Speaker’s podium, forcing P. Sreeramakrishnan to adjourn the house.

When the house met again, Muneer said: “Why is that when I say the word communal wall, you go berserk, when others use the same word, there is no issue. I stick by what I said that this is nothing but a ‘communal wall’.

“You (Vijayan) say that this wall is part of the renaissance movement, but what right do you have to speak about renaissance.

“It’s just not the Hindus who took part in the erstwhile Renaissance Movement, Christians and Muslims also took part and we wish to ask you what wall are you now going to build without the Christians and Muslims,” said Muneer.

Following which the sloganeering from across the benches increased, forcing the Speaker to rush through the listed business of the day.

The sloganeering and trooping of both benches’ MLAs almost led to a clash, with P.K. Basheer of the IUML and V.Joy of the CPI-M coming to blows.

State Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunilkumar forcefully took away Joy, while Basheer was also taken away by others.

With the session coming to a close, Congress’ Ramesh Chennithala said: “Vijayan knows that he has been caught on the wrong foot on the ‘communal wall’. This is a communal wall and we will oppose it.”

The three protesting UDF members moved out of the foyer to take the protest outside the Assembly, as it was closed.

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Mayawati neither man nor woman: BJP MLA Sadhana Singh

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Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from Mughalsarai Sadhana Singh sparked outrage after she used offensive language against former Chief Minister Mayawati.

During a public meeting, Singh said that Mayawati is neither a man nor a woman and added that in spite of being humiliated by the Samajwadi Party in the infamous 1995 Lucknow guest house incident she joined hands with the same party.

Singh said that Mayawati is a blot in the name of women and added that it was a BJP leader who saved her.

Reacting to Sadhana Singh’s comment BSP leader Satish Mishra said after the announcement of SP-BSP coalition the BJP leaders have lost their mental balance and they should be admitted to mental hospitals in Agra and Bareilly.

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FTII student missing since suspension orders

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Pune, Jan 19 : A student of the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has been missing since January 13 after he was suspended by the college authorities.

The college authorities have lodged a missing complaint on January 17 with the local police.

The missing student was identified as Manoj Kumar. The FTII director B Kainthola on Kumar’s missing mentioned that the college has reported him missing and they are hopeful that he will return to the Campus soon.

Reportedly, the FIR stated that Manoj Kumar Verma was disturbed after being suspended and left without informing anybody.

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‘Felt like chopping off his hand’: Misa Bharti on Ram Kripal Yadav joining BJP

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Patna, Jan 19: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Misa Bharti has said that she wanted to chop off Union Minister Ram Kripal Yadav’s hand when he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

While addressing RJD workers at Vikram near Patna on January 16, she said when she “heard that Yadav is joining the BJP, then I felt like chopping off his hand…I was so angry inside”, reports in the local media said on Saturday.

Yadav, once considered close to Lalu Prasad and his family, joined the BJP in 2014. He contested and won the Lok Sabha poll from Patliputra constituency of Bihar defeating RJD candidate Bharti.

Bharti, elder daughter of Lalu Prasad, said that she had great respect for Yadav but that respect was over after he joined the saffron party and stood with Sushil Kumar Modi, a BJP leader and the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar.

Doctor-turned-politician Bharti is likely to contest the general elections from the same seat again.

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