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Saji Cheriyan set to swear in as minister today; UDF to boycott oath taking ceremony


Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Former Culture Minister and Chengannur MLA Saji Cheriyan is set to take oath as minister for a second time in the Left Democratic Front Government. The swearing-in is scheduled at 4 pm on Wednesday. Though Governor Arif Mohammad Khan played hardball initially, he relented later and gave permission to swear Saji Cheriyan in.

Meanwhile, opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) will boycott the ceremony. The CPM State Secretariat had given the nod to induct Cheriyan again as minister after the Kerala High Court recently dismissed two pleas that sought to disqualify him as a legislator over the speech allegedly insulting the Constitution of India. The petitions had claimed that Cheriyan’s actions attracted disqualification under Section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Cheriyan had to quit the Left Democratic Front ministry on July 6 as his alleged anti-Constitution remarks had caused quite a furore. He had then claimed that the decision to step down was personal and not forced upon him. In his public address at Mallappally, Cheriyan claimed that the Constitution was prepared as directed by the British and that it wasn’t meant to protect the commoners. Cheriyan had said: ‘The words secularism and democracy have been thrown here and there. But the Constitution is clearly being used to exploit commoners’.



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