Kerala LDF faces flak for failure to have cabinet quorum

Thiruvananthapuram: The Left Democratic Front government is facing flak from both the opposition and social media commentators alike after a Cabinet meeting last week was cancelled due to lack of quorum.

The State Cabinet meets every week on Wednesdays, but last week a special Cabinet meeting had been scheduled for Friday. It was called off because 13 ministers could not attend the meeting due to other work. It was an embarrassing situation for the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the government.

“It is a shame for the state that the Cabinet does not meet because there is no quorum”, said Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.

Chennithala said this was an unheard-of situation and the absence of as many as 13 of the 19 ministers meant that the validity of certain ordinances could not be extended by the Cabinet.

“The Communist Party of India-Marxist ministers seem to be busy with party meetings. They have no right to continue in power”, said Chennithala.

On social media, some commentators opined that Kerala’s ministers and MLAs ought to learn from Lord Michael Bates, a UK minister who recently opted to resign from the House of Lords because he was late for a meeting by a few minutes.

Tendering his resignation he told fellow members of the House, “I want to offer my sincere apologies to (Labour’s) Baroness Lister for my discourtesy in not being in my place to answer her question on a very important matter at the beginning of questions.”

Bates had been due in the chamber at 3pm to answer a scheduled question from Lister on income inequality but he arrived a couple of minutes late. But Bates chose to resign rather than pardon himself for what he thought was discourteous behaviour.

Some local media reports said there is no official quorum for the Kerala Cabinet meetings, and that there is only an internal directive that a majority of ministers must be present. The Cabinet will now meet again on Monday.


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