Opposition Leader V D Satheesan said that the LDF big campaign pitch during the 2021 Assembly polls, that it had honoured 570 of the 600 promises it had made to the electorate in 2016, was nothing but a "mountain of lies". "We examined each of these promises and what emerged was shocking. Not even 100 of the 600 promises the LDF had made in its 2016 manifesto have been implemented," Satheesan said at a 'Meet the Press' organised by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.
Sathesan said that this falsehood was being repeated, ad nauseum. "They might be thinking that a lie repeated a thousand times would ultimately be established as truth," the Opposition Leader said. He said the UDF was ready for a debate with anyone on the issue. During the first anniversary of the second Pinarayi ministry on June 2, the Chief Minister had submitted a progress report of the 900 promises the LDF had made in its 2021 manifesto.
He said the LDF promises were vetted by a team of experts. "We divided the projects sector-wise and studied its progress and its present status. It is after examining all the projects in detail that we are coming out with our criticism," Satheesan said.
The UDF expert team has now separated the promises into four categories and listed the promises under them. One, projects that have been truly completed. Two, incomplete projects, which according to the LDF is just 30. Three, projects recorded as completed but in reality are incomplete. Four, impractical projects.
He did not read out the list under these four categories, but he mentioned a few. Support price for vegetables, protection for endosulfan and Plachimada victims, 10 lakh new jobs, farming, base price for vegetables, take over of KSRTC debt, Kanjikode coach factory, creation of Kerala Institute of Retail Management, and multi-mode logistics parks. He said the very first promise, of achieving self-sufficiency in vegetable production, has not been honoured.
"Where have all the packages - Kuttanad, Idukki, Wayanad and Malabar – vanished? What happened to the Rs-5000-crore coastal package," he said. "It requires a certain level of guts to keep propagating such falsehoods," he added. Satheeesan termed such propaganda as "scientific means to fool the electorate".
UDF to attend Loka Kerala Sabha
The Opposition Leader said that the UDF would take part in the coming Loka Kerala Sabha, a meeting organised by the Kerala government for non-resident Keralites. The UDF had boycotted the 2020 event, the second Sabha.
Nonetheless, Satheesan put forward three conditions for the participation of the UDF. One, the Loka Kerala Sabha should be a simple affair. "All ostentation should be done away with. Non-resident Keralites are not people who are unaware of the state's financial woes," Satheesan said.
Two, the government should table a progress report of the decisions taken at the two earlier editions of the Loka Kerala Sabha. Three, non-resident organisations affiliated to the opposition parties should also get representation.
Satheesan said he had conveyed these three demands to the Chief Minister who he said assured him of a quick response.