Kochi

UDF doing hangman’s job, says Chief Minister

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at an election campaign meet at Thopumpady in Kochi on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arranagement

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has accused the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) of doing a hangman’s job in executing the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) at the Centre’s bidding.

Addressing the media here on Saturday morning, Mr. Vijayan decried the income tax raid at the KIIFB office and hours-long interrogation of its officials, including the Chief Executive Officer, late into the night. “This was despite the fact that KIIFB being a transparently-run financial agency has an organised system to respond to any queries immediately. What was the need to treat the agency and its officials as enemies?” he asked and accused the Central agencies of violating federal principles and encroaching on the State’s authority.

Mr. Vijayan accused the Congress, UDF, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of adopting the same approach towards KIIFB. “It is through the doors opened by the UDF that the Central agencies have barged in. The Leader of the Opposition has become a spokesperson of the Central government and wants to destroy KIIFB, Life Mission, and even food and welfare pension,” the Chief Minister alleged.

“Pensions and food kits are being distributed not because of the election. People’s faith in the LDF government is on account of their experience in the last five years. To assume that food kits and welfare pensions will influence voters is tantamount to belittling them,” he said.

Mr. Vijayan said the allegations of ‘double votes’ raised by the Opposition Leader had helped expose multiple votes being enjoyed by Congress leaders and their family members. “Voters’ list is the responsibility of the Election Commission, and it is looking into the matter. Vetting the list is a routine exercise done even in the absence of specific complaints,” he added.

The Chief Minister said the judicial inquiry into the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case was not against Central agencies but to find out the truth in the wake of multiple complaints about some accused being pressurised into giving statements in violation of the Constitution and the rule of law.

He asserted that the LDF was duty-bound to wipe out corruption at all levels by strengthening the Vigilance and time-bound completion of probes. “Social auditing of all government departments will be completed in five years, and a decision will be taken on any complaint within 30 days. A one-stop centre for all services will be set up in all blocks,” Mr. Vijayan informed.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 10:22:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/udf-doing-hangmans-job-says-chief-minister/article34180390.ece

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