The government’s failure to tackle price rise issues came in for criticism during the discussion on the motion thanking the Governor’s address to the Assembly here on Monday.
Those from the Opposition benches spoke about the lack of conviction in the Governor’s address regarding various projects and proposals, which they claimed were mostly a repetition of last year’s announcements. The ruling front MLAs, however, accused the Opposition of deliberately refusing to take cognisance of the beneficial schemes that the government had implemented.
Sandhya, the housewife who had captured the imagination of the public by her spirited protest against the manner in which public was being put to inconvenience by the Left Front’s blockade at the Chief Minister’s official residence at Cliff House, was one name which came up several times during the entire discussion on the Governor’s address. The ruling front MLAs who spoke used the Sandhya episode to poke fun at the Opposition, which could not find any defence to counter this.
C. Divakaran, opposing the motion, said that that there had been nothing new in the Governor’s address and demanded that the portion in the said speech, which ‘ridiculed’ the Opposition’s democratic protests be removed.
He said that several of the government’s promises remained unfulfilled. The general price rise and the rise in LPG prices was creating so much hardship to the housewives’ budgets that Sandhya, who had fought the Left, will now use the broom to hit the ruling front representatives, he said.
C. K. Nanu, opposing the motion, said that the Governor’s address failed to make even a mention of the innumerable infant deaths at Attappady or what steps the government intended to take to prevent such incidents.
The Chief Whip of the government, P. C. George, supporting the motion, went hammer and tongs against the Kasturirangan report and green activists and said that people’s welfare were being sacrificed to protect animal welfare. He said that the people of Idukki or Wayanad were tired of their interests being set aside to protect forest cover and animal population.
The Congress MLA, P. C. Vishnunath, launched a scathing attack on the Opposition for turning a blind eye to the welfare schemes being implemented by the government, including the Karunya Benevolent Fund, cochlear implant scheme, and various other health sector programmes. The ruling front MLAs thumped the desk resoundingly as he used sarcasm to full measure to poke fun at the series of failed agitations led by the Left against the government
P. Sreeramakrishnan, in his address opposing the motion, said that the Governor’s address had been a pointless exercise, which reflected none of the burning issues faced by the common man today. Not only had the government failed to do effective market interventions to hold the price line, it had also destroyed the public distribution system, he said. He also spoke about the issues in the education sector, including the vacant higher secondary seats and the government’s inability to distribute free uniform to students even at the fag end of the academic year.