Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A debate organised by the Sukumar Azhikode Trust on ‘Kerala in 2007’ here on Sunday became an occasion for Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala to portray conflicting pictures on the contemporary situation in the economic, social and political realms of the State.

While the Chief Minister sought to project the ‘achievements’ of the government in various fields like employment generation, agriculture, industry, health, law and order and in launching drives against various vested-interest groups, the KPCC president made a scathing attack on the present regime for its ‘anti-development stance and the lack of a cohesive policy.’

KPCC chief also made a broadside against the ‘cultural leaders,’ in the presence of Sukumar Azhikode and social activist and former civil servant T.N. Jayachandran, for being silent on the ‘miseries’ caused to the people by the LDF government.

Describing the signing of the agreement for the ‘Smart City’ project in Kochi as a major achievement of the government, Mr. Achuthanandan said when he and other LDF leaders opposed the undesirable conditions in the agreement draft worked out by the previous government, “we were described as forces bent on stalling development.”

Mass support

The victory of the LDF in the last elections signalled the mass support of the secular-democratic forces which in turn has ushered in an era of peace in the State, Mr. Achuthanandan argued. The Chief Minister said the government could also tone up the health sector by filling up the vacancies of the doctors and paramedical staff besides ensuring a steady supply of medicines to the public hospitals.

Mr. Chennithala, however, said the LDF leaders should realise that the State could not stay away from the changes that were taking place all over the world.

The State government lacked a cohesive approach on issues like availing funds from external agencies, inviting private investment and on crucial areas like Plan priorities. The Education Minister has messed up the education sector of the State while the Devaswom Minister had been chiefly responsible for the unprecedented crisis at Sabarimala during this pilgrim season. The State has suffered a setback in the health sector under the LDF regime, Mr. Chennithala alleged.

Participating in a debate on the Public Works Department, Minister Mons Joseph said the government would submit the proposal for the second phase of Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP).