Kerala

Govt. has nothing to write home about: Satheesan

V.D. Satheeshan

V.D. Satheeshan | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan has said the authoritarianism and a patently anti-people position on matters of public concern are the hallmarks of the second Pinarayi Vijayan government, which completed a year in power on Thursday.

Mr. Satheesan said on Thursday that the Left Democratic front (LDF) government had nothing to write home about. It had unleashed the might of the State against K-Rail (SilverLine) protestors anxious about losing their dwellings, land and livelihood to the "quixotic" semi-high-speed railway project.

The viral footage of a police officer stomping on an anti-SilverLine protestor remained the most enduring image of Mr. Vijayan's second term in power.

Salary deprived Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees were fighting abject poverty. Farmer suicides were on the rise. The treasury was shut. The government had insisted that treasury withdrawals above ₹25 lakh required administrative sanction.

Local development works had ground to halt because the administration was hard-pressed to compensate public work contractors. The LDF prioritised kick-backs and not development, he said.

The LDF was left only in nomenclature. It had embraced far-right forces to undermine the secular Opposition. Political expediency had prompted the LDF to shrug off its left secular values and forged a symbiotic association with elements on the extreme fringes of the religious spectrum.

Kerala's finances were in tatters. Mr. Satheesan said the LDF had shied away from publishing a white paper on the State's economy. K-rail would push the State into an irredeemable debt trap. The LDF had promoted the scheme with an eye on the vast commissions involved.

Banks were reluctant to extend loans to owners of land surveyed for K-Rail. The government was Kerala's biggest trespasser. It had slapped non-bailable charges against thousands of residents who resisted laying K-rail markers on their private land. The LDF had used COVID-19 to purchase medical equipment at excessive rates.

The police had woefully failed in curbing organised crime. Rape and crimes against children were on an upward spiral. Narcotic drugs were available freely on the street. Communal violence had escalated. Revenge killings by fundamentalist organisations were a daily occurrence. An emasculated police force accountable to CPI(M) satraps remained mute and helpless.


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 12:58:09 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/govt-has-nothing-to-write-home-about-satheesan/article65430899.ece