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Controversy mars inauguration of super-specialty block at Alappuzha MCH

January 21, 2023 09:17 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 09:50 am IST - ALAPPUZHA

The government’s apparent snub of politicians “who stood in the forefront” to materialise the multi-crore super-specialty block at the Government Medical College Hospital, Alappuzha, by not extending an invitation to them for the facility’s inauguration on Saturday ruffled a few feathers on both sides of the political spectrum.

The Congress lambasted the Left Democratic Front’s “pettiness” for not inviting K.C. Venugopal, former Alappuzha MP who was instrumental in developing the block by including the project under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana during the second United Progressive Alliance government, to the event.

The party found unlikely support in Communist Party of India (Marxist) veteran and former Minister G. Sudhakaran who too did not receive an invitation.

In a lengthy post on Facebook, Mr. Sudhakaran, while detailing his involvement as Ambalapuzha MLA and later as a Minister in the first Pinarayi Vijayan government , mentioned the contributions of Mr. Venugopal.

Stating that he did not have any complaints over not being invited to the event, the CPI(M) leader said there was no need to exclude Mr. Venugopal. Former Health Minister K.K. Shailaja should also have been invited, he said.

“Some find joy in denying history. History cannot be suppressed. History is progress. During the inauguration of the Alappuzha bypass road, I had said that opinions formed in people’s minds were more important than flex boards placed on roadsides,” Mr. Sudhakaran said.

With Mr. Sudhakaran’s remarks putting the CPI(M) on the back foot, Ambalapuzha MLA H. Salam on Saturday termed the controversy “deliberate”. He said those staking claim to the project had opposed the shifting of the MCH from Alappuzha to Vandanam.

The CPI(M) in November 2021 had publicly censured Mr. Sudhakaran noting that he behaved in a manner unbecoming of a party State committee member during candidate selection and campaign for the 2021 Assembly election, especially in the Amabalapuzha constituency. His relationship with some of the party leaders remains frosty.

The Congress, meanwhile, found Mr. Sudhakaran’s ‘criticism of the government’ as a tool to attack the LDF government. In a statement, Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan said Mr. Venugopal was excluded from the function after the Chief Minister and his office intervened. The government’s narrow-minded attitude would not do any good for the comprehensive development of the State, Mr. Satheesan said.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K. Sudhakaran also protested against the government’s snub of politicians.

Congress leaders Ramesh Chennithala and Kodikunnil Suresh, MP, boycotted the event.

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