Kerala legislator to approach court to protect assembly membership

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 17 (IANS) Suspended Kerala Congress-Mani legislator and former chief whip P.C. George on Thursday said that he would now approach the court to see that he is not disqualified as assembly member.

His reaction came soon after Kerala Assembly Speaker N.Sakthan told reporters that the complaint by ruling UDF’s chief whip Thomas Unniyadan, that George had indulged in activities which would invite provision of the anti-defection law, is maintainable.

“I accept what the speaker has said but I will take it forward and approach the court on this issue,” George told reporters outside the assembly complex.

George was elected on the party ticket of Kerala Congress-Mani and when the United Democratic Front government assumed office in 2011, he was appointed as the chief whip .

But following a series of acts of indiscipline and defying party leader and state Finance Minister K.M.Mani, George was stripped off the chief whip’s post in April this year and was suspended from the party.

And after that George has been going hammer and tongs against Mani and his party leadership.

Things went from bad to worse when George fielded a candidate of his outfit Anticorruption Democratic Front at a assembly by election at Aruvikara held recently and this led to Unniyadan filing an official complaint with the speaker demanding the dismissal of George as a legislator under the anti-defection law.

On Tuesday, Sakthan heard both the parties who were represented by leading lawyers and on Thursday, he told reporters that the petition of Unniyadan is maintainable.

“If George has anything to respond on this, he can submit his response latest by 4 p.m on the 23rd and Unniyadan also can submit his response latest by 4 p.m on the 26th of this month,” said the speaker.

The present term of the assembly ends in May next year.

George, 64, is a six-time legislator from Poonjar in Kottayam district and is known for his razor-sharp tongue and his tongue-in-cheek remarks, which has landed him, his party and the Congress-led UDF into trouble on numerous occasions.

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