UDF stages walkout from Kerala Assembly over alleged rise in suicide cases due to COVID

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Opposition leader VD Satheesan (File Photo/ANI)
Opposition leader VD Satheesan (File Photo/ANI)

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], August 4 (ANI): The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) staged a walkout from the Kerala Assembly on Wednesday over a spate of alleged suicides in the state, the latest being the alleged suicide of twin brothers in Kottayam, due to financial distress caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

Opposition leader VD Satheesan said that the government is reluctant to understand the socio-economic repercussions of COVID in the state and is unwilling to discuss it in the assembly.

"So far, 20 people have committed suicides after they lost their livelihoods in various areas owing to COVID induced crisis. The government should be prepared to tell the people that suicide is not the solution in times of crisis. Many people are on the verge of suicide due to the financial issues they are facing," he said.

He alleged that thousands of loan recovery notices are being sent by banks every day.

"The moratorium was announced only until August last year. After that, recovery notices are being sent during this crisis period. The government is not taking any action despite the opposition's repeated warnings that the people are being intimidated by banks in the name of recovery. The government should listen to the Opposition and assure people that it stands with them in the hour of crisis," he said.

Senior Congress MLA Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishan, who gave notice for an adjournment motion to discuss the issue, said harassment by the bank from where the twin brothers availed a loan of Rs 12 lakh was the main reason for them to take the extreme step.

In reply, Cooperation Minister VN Vasavan denied allegations of harassment by the bank.

"The bank had issued a notice but no action was taken. The police will ascertain the exact cause of the deaths," he said.

After the speaker denied permission for the adjournment motion, the opposition walked out of the assembly in protest. (ANI)

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