Kerala

Kerala CM faces a motion of no-confidence in Legislative Assembly

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. File  

Beset by allegations of corruption and mindful of the local body polls in November, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan braced himself to face the first no-confidence motion against his four-year-old government in the Legislative Assembly on Monday.

V. D. Satheeshan of the Congress tabled the no-trust motion with the stated purpose of submitting a “charge sheet” against the government in the “court of the people” in an unusual election year overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Vijayan will reply to the Opposition’s charges later in the day.

Mr. Satheeshan attempted to create political theatre in a bid to portray Mr. Vijayan as the fountainhead of the ills of Left Democratic Front (LDF) rule.

 

In a seemingly cynical take on Mark Antony’s speech in the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Mr. Satheeshan repeatedly stated the “CM is an honourable man” even as he levelled a succession of corruption charges against the Pinarayi Vijayan government.

“The CM is the captain of our ship. He is the helmsman of the State. But, he has given gold smugglers, anti-nationals and corrupt bureaucrats a free rein of the bridge,” Mr. Satheeshan said.

Mr. Vijayan yielded the control of the State to unscrupulous profiteers. From the Sprinklr medical data theft scam to the tainted UAE Red Crescent-Life Mission deal, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) played a direct role in every corrupt deal authored by the government.

The administration allowed the Adani group to win the bid for the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport by passing on “insider information” about the State’s bid for the contract. It turned the e-mobility hub and Transgrid project into avenues for corruption.

Private consultancies had usurped governance. Highly-paid backdoor appointees supplanted experienced administrators, he charged.

Mr. Vijayan had rendered the Cabinet “impotent”. He had repeatedly tried to browbeat the independent media into submission.

“Is this a Cabinet headed by Joseph Stalin. Ministers dare not speak their mind. They have become a group of voiceless nodding heads who cower in terror of the CM,” he said.

Hard times had fallen upon the government. At least three Central agencies were investigating the CMO in connection with the gold smuggling case and the Life Mission scam. Mr. Vijayan had put the administration at the mercy of the Central government. “A dreadful night has fallen upon the State,” Mr. Satheeshan said.

The numbers in the Assembly are overwhelmingly in favour of the LDF. The LDF has 91 MLAs and the UDF 42 as per the latest count. CPI (M) independent from Koduvally Karat Rasaq and IUML MLA from Azhikode K.M. Shaji have no vote due to pending court cases challenging their election. However, they could attend the debate.

The two MLAs aligned with Jose. K. Mani faction of the Kerala Congress (M), Roshy Augustine and N. Jayaraj had announced that they would remain politically neutral and abstain from voting for or against the government.

The debate is continuing.


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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 4:42:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-cm-faces-a-motion-of-no-confidence-in-legislative-assembly/article32427744.ece

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