Thiruvananthapuram: As the Left Democratic Front (LDF) enters its fifth year in power without any fanfare, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that his government was able to take a strong stand for a new Kerala without letting it to drop into a state of stagnation.
“My government faced huge challenges during the last four years. But natural calamities did not prevent the government from meeting its set objectives. As many as 2,19,154 houses were built under the Life Mission. Public schools turned hi-tech. Through the Haritha Kerala Mission, efforts were made to revive 390-km of rivers and 36,000-km of water-bodies,” the CM said, listing the achievements of his government.
Pinarayi said Kerala can proudly proclaim the state stood united in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The standard of healthcare in the state from primary healthcare centres to medical colleges was enhanced through the Aardram Mission. This helped Kerala to put up a strong resistance against COVID-19. The measures undertaken by the state are being lauded by the entire world. Volunteer outfits, police, fire force, local bodies and healthcare personnel all joined hands in this fight,” he added.
A unique mechanism was developed to revive the economy, when the state was staring at stagnation due to financial crunch. The state was denied its rightful aid, he complained. According to the CM, his government has stepped up to the challenge of devising a new recovery plan for the state in the current scenario of gloom.
“Major projects such as the GAIL pipeline that were on the verge of being written off as unfeasible became a reality. Kerala tops on all indicators of NITI Aayog from health, business and development, to school education.
“Subiksha Kerala was started to support the agricultural and industrial sectors that were adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. A decision was taken to process industrial licences and permits within seven working days. Priority is being given to ensure the safety of returning expats and to support them in the life ahead,” Pinarayi explained.
The CM said that propaganda and fake rumours failed to slow down the pace of the government.
“Even as it races ahead, Kerala is making sure that refugees, migrant workers and those without welfare pensions are not left behind. Our objective is of an educated and healthy Kerala. Let's forge ahead, together, as we continue to lead the way,” CM Pinarayi added.
LDF's 'PR' exercise
Meanwhile, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the LDF government was trying to use the fight against COVID-19 to cover up the four years of administrative failure and corruption.
The senior Congress leader said that the online campaigns led by the CPM's cyber force along with the help of PR companies cannot hide the truth for long.
"The resistance put up by Kerala was due to the strong healthcare system in the state built over the years by various governments at the helm. Even when the opposition was ready to support the cause, the CM and government indulged in political games. The opposition raised a banter of protest against the move to give the health data of people in Kerala to Sprinklr. After the court too took an objection to the move, an attempt was made to wriggle out of the mess," Chennithala alleged.
The opposition leader said the government had prevented the return of Keralites who were stranded in other states during the lockdown. He also criticised the CM on the move to put United Democratic Front (UDF) leaders in quarantine.
Chennithala said four years have been wasted and Kerala lost out on several development opportunities.
"The government does not even have a single project to show as its own. The financial structure has been devastated. All the borrowings made have been splurged. Each budget presentation has become a graveyard of mega proposals,” he alleged.
"Fearing that corruption would be exposed, even the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) audit was opposed. Young comrades destroyed the trust the youth had in Public Service Commission (PSC). An unheard-of practice of using crores of rupees from the state exchequer to save accused in political murders continues.
“History will record that a government led by Pinarayi, a CPM politburo member, strayed away from Communist precepts. Even the allies, ministers and the CPM itself are in the dark about the functioning of the government,” Chennithala added.