Ministers should rise to party's expectations: CM

CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan

Thiruvananthapuram: The performance of a few ministers in the second Pinarayi Vijayan Government is under scrutiny with the leading ruling party, CPM, itself giving the thumbs down.

"The party must discuss the shortcomings of the ministers. We have already appraised their performance and directions have been given to rectify and effectively change the work pattern," said Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, CPM State Secretary, after the 5-day party leadership meeting, here.

A heated discussion ensued in the CPM’s State Committee meeting on Friday. The committee weighed on the criticisms raised in Pinarayi Vijayan’s report about the Government’s work over the past one year.

Though it has been decided not to remove anyone, a clear warning has been given during the meeting to be more active, efficient and effective at work.

"Each minister has been given the necessary directions. All of them are going to be spirited and energetic. As of now, there is no need to remove anyone from the cabinet and hence no need for a reshuffle," Kodiyeri said.

CM's response

The ministers should rise to the expectations of the party in terms of their performance, said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, accepting the suggestions to improve their performance. 

There is not as much of a problem as being talked about. Despite the lack of experience, the ministers have to live up to expectations and perform well in their respective portfolios. There should be an effort and attention for the same on their part, the CM added while speaking at the CPM State Committee meeting. 

Pinarayi also urged ministers to give special attention to the functioning of their offices. 

The ministers have been directed to behave well toward those who approach them with different needs, he said.

Weak spots

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the Cabinet’s overall performance was evaluated and the lack of experience was indeed a concern.

Most ministers in the Second Pinarayi Cabinet are first-timers.

"The Ministers are mostly based in their offices and programmes are mostly organised online. Directions have been given to effectively change such work patterns that distance them from people. Ministers must be more active and travel across the State," the CPM Secretary noted.

The Ministers must be in the State capital for five days. Nevertheless, there is a tendency to not go anywhere even on other days. Such conduct needs to be avoided, he added.

Home Department

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan confirmed that the CM’s Home department was also subject to sharp criticism in the meeting, though he defended it by stating it was on expected lines.

"When was there a time when the Police were not criticised?" He asked.

"People may have complaints. However, Kerala remains to be a State with the most commendable Law and Order maintenance in India," he stressed. 

The CPM State Committee's discussions on the appraisal report were in the presence of Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat. E P Jayarajan chaired the meeting. Kodiyeri participated despite his ill health condition.

"The discussions were around improving governance. No criticisms were raised against ministers in the State Committee. Whatever is being speculated on this issue may lead to misunderstandings; however, if anyone draws vicarious pleasure from it, so be it," remarked Minister P A Mohammed Riyas referring to surmises on the replacement of ministers who are not up to the mark.

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