Kerala Assembly today witnessed a war of words between the ruling LDF and opposition UDF members over the alleged seizure of weapons from a Kochi-based college. Congress-led UDF members alleged that the Government Maharaja’s College, a known bastion of ruling CPI(M)’s students wing SFI, has become the ‘storeroom of arms’.
Countering it, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan denied unearthing of weapons from the staff quarters of the college and accused the opposition of attempting to tarnish the glorious institution.He said no arms had been seized and only some construction materials were found by the police. The opposition later staged a walkout as Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan rejected their demand for an adjournment motion over the issue.
Earlier, moving the notice for the motion, P T Thomas (Congress) said several weapons, including swords and iron rods, had been seized and this should be viewed seriously by the government. “The institution was an alma mater of several great persons. Now, it has become an abode of anti-social elements,” he charged. Not just in Maharajas College, but SFI and ABVP (students’ wing of BJP) activists were causing anarchy in many other campuses in the state, he alleged. However, Vijayan said the opposition was trying to create a smoke-screen over the issue and there was no need to discuss it in the assembly. “The government’s attempt is to transform the state campuses as centres of excellence…not as the abodes of anti-social elements,” he said. Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the Chief Minister was justifying those who were causing ‘anarchy’ in campuses. Any attempt to destroy the peaceful atmosphere in colleges would not be accepted, he added.