Thiruvananthapuram: Several young fellow comrades-cum-CPM legislators had slammed Kerala Minister for Public Works Department and Tourism, P A Mohammed Riyas, for expressing his displeasure over MLAs bringing contractors to the offices of ministers. A N Shamseer, another CPM MLA, was particularly aghast, and came out with a scathing criticism against Riyas.
It has now come to light that K P Sumesh, the Azhikode MLA, had also raised complaints against the offices of ministers at the CPM legislature party meeting recently.
Sumesh, a former president of the Kannur district unit of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), said the legislators are not getting required details from the offices of certain ministers while they try to study significant issues before raising them in the Legislature.
'Well-thought out comment'
Riyas has clarified that he had made the statement on contractors after pondering over the issue in detail and that's the reason why he didn’t express regret.
“I don't mean that all contractors and officials are in the same league. But some do have an unholy nexus. This was also referred to in the CAG report. The department’s functioning is not going to get grounded just because someone has ticked it off,” he said.
The minister said while engaging with contractors it is natural that their antecedents are cross-checked.
“I don't think the ruling party MLAs would object to it,” Riyas, who is the son-in-law of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, said.
"Contractors and officials are indulging in many irregularities. The MLAs can come with complaints regarding lapses happening in the works in their respective assembly constituencies. However, it is not right to come up with issues related to other constituencies. There is nothing wrong in stating that MLAs should not become a party in such activities," Riyas said on Friday.
Party backing for Riyas
CPM acting state secretary A Vijayaraghavan’s even extended support to Riyas publicly. Overall, the party is with Riyas on the issue.
Many in the CPM feel Shamsheer’s statement reflected the emotions of certain MLAs who do not agree with Riyas’s style of functioning. They also feel that Shamseer’s opposition is not issue based as even the Opposition has no problem with Riyas' comments.
Shamseer, who is senior both in the DYFI and in Assembly was expecting a berth in the LDF Cabinet this time. However, it was Riyas who found a place in the ministry.
K Radhakrishnan and T P Ramakrishnan had participated in the legislature party meeting on behalf of the CPM state secretariat. At the meeting Radhakrishnan said the performance of the new legislators was generally good, however they should pay more attention to study each subject in detail while making presentations.
None of the participants in the meeting reacted when Ramakrishnan stated that the ministers like Riyas were pointing out issues to avoid corruption.
CPM acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan while responding to the questions related to the controversy, said one could understand the objective of certain media organisations to cast a shadow over the effective functioning of the government.
When asked whether Shamseer didn't understand the party’s general stand on the issue, the MLA responded saying that he didn’t attend the legislature party meeting!