Kerala’ first-time MLA Anthony Raja may have to repeat his oath as a legislator because of a crucial word that went missing from his note during the swearing-in ceremony held on Monday.
Raja, an MLA from Devikulam, followed his predecessors from the constituency in choosing Tamil as his preferred language to read the oath.
According to the Constitution, the MLAs are required to swear either ‘in the name of God’ or ‘solemnly affirm’. Raja chose the latter, and the officials concerned were also informed about it.
However, the note of oath missed the word ‘ulamare’ or ‘ullarnth’, which is equivalent to meaning ‘solemn affirmation’. Raja, therefore, completed his oath by stating ‘uruthi cheykiren’, which means ‘(I am) taking oath’.
When it was noticed, assembly Speaker MB Rajesh left the matter to the assembly secretariat and now it is under consideration of the legal department, which is yet to arrive at a decision.
According to sources, the CPM MLA may have to repeat his oath to avoid any complications in future.
A total of 136 MLAs on Monday took the oath under the supervision of MLA PTA Rahim, who was sworn in as the pro-tem Speaker by the Governor last week.
Three MLAs in the 140-member assembly could not attend the swearing-in. While minister V Abdurahman was absent for his ill-health, Congress MLA M Vincent and CPM MLA K Babu couldn’t attend as they were under home quarantine. Both Abdurahman and Babu will take oath in the presence of the assembly Speaker on Friday.
Raja, one of the younger MLAs in Kerala
While Raja took the oath in Tamil, AKM Ashraf, Muslim League MLA from Manjeshwaram bordering Karnataka, did it in Kannada. Two MLAs, Mathew Kuzhalnadan of Congress and Mani C Kappan of NCK, which split away from NCP, took the the oath in English.
Raja, 36, is one of the younger MLAs in the state.
Son of plantation workers Anthony Lakshmanan and Easwary, Raja is an advocate by profession. He has been practising in Munsiff Court, Devikulam, since 2009 after finishing his LLB from Government Law College, Coimbatore.
Raja defeated D Kumar of UDF by 7,848 votes in his electoral debut in April. He is a state committee member of DYFI, the youth wing of CPI.