Aluva: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is still the criminal he used to be, Kerala’s Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan said here on Wednesday as the Congress stepped up its harsh criticism of the state government’s public outreach programme named Nava Kerala Sadas.
Satheesan targetted Vijayan personally in response to the latter’s remarks on the brutal attack by his party workers on the Youth Congress activists who waved black flags at him in Kannur.
“It was clearly an attempt to murder and the chief minister is justifying it. He is a criminal. His old traits are still with him,” the Congress leader said, apparently referring to Vijayan’s alleged involvement in cases of political violence in the past.
“The chief minister, who called for violence, should ideally step down. We know it will be difficult for him as he has been enjoying all the comforts of power. So, he should at least apologise to the public,” Satheesan said.
Congress leaders were provoked by the chief minister’s claim that DYFI workers had actually saved the lives of the Youth Congress activists, who allegedly tried to jump in front of his cavalcade and waved black flags.
"It happened right in front of my eyes. The DYFI workers were trying to prevent them from jumping in front of the oncoming vehicle. They were saving the lives of the Youth Congress activists for which some force had to be necessarily used. It was not an assault. It was an admirable act on the part of the DYFI workers and my request to them is to continue the same," the chief minister told reporters here during a press briefing.
However, videos clearly showed members of DYFI, CPM’s youth wing, brutally assaulting the protesters with helmets, sticks and stones.
At his press meet in Aluva, Satheesan continued to raise the opposition’s criticism that the ruling front was splurging on public money in the name of the outreach programme despite the state going through a severe financial crisis.
“The CPM should conduct its programmes by spending its own funds, not at the expense of the public. The tax collected by the local self-governments and the money deposited by the common man in banks are being used for the programme. Government officials are also made to collect unauthorised funds for the programme,” Satheesan alleged.
He also questioned why all the ministers were being taken along with the chief minister when they didn’t have any role in the programme. “There isn’t anyone in Thiruvananthapuram (state capital) to look after governance for some 40 days. What is the ministers’ role in the programme? They are not even collecting any complaints. They are still sitting on the complaints they received from the people during taluk level adalats six months ago,” Satheesan said.
The Congress leader did not stop there. He wanted to hurt the ego of the ministers it seems. “The only role the ministers have is that they can have breakfast with the chief minister every morning. That too, I don’t think everyone is allowed. I think only the ministers belonging to the LDF allies are invited. Others have to sit in their rooms,” he said.
He termed the Nava Kerala Sadas nothing but an obscene sham. Congress leaders V P Sajeendran, Anwar Sadath MLA, M Liju and Mohammed Shiyas also attended the press meet.