Kerala CM pitches for continuance of LDF rule on govt.’s fourth anniversary

Pinarayi Vijayan asserts that the LDF has lived up to its manifesto though unprecedented adversities had beset the State

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday made a pitch for continuity of Left Democratic Front (LDF) rule.

On the fourth anniversary of his government, he asserted that the LDF had lived up to its manifesto though unprecedented adversities had beset the State.

In 2017, the Ockhi cyclone hit Kerala. Next year, the Nipah outbreak threatened to scythe through the population. The State survived both disasters. But it got no breathing space. The floods ravaged Kerala in 2018 and 2019.

Before Kerala could stabilise, the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020. It crippled the State's tottering economy, upended life, hobbled manufacturing and retail trade and scorched conventional sources of revenue of the government. The pandemic triggered an influx of residents who had lost their jobs abroad.

The government stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the people during the pandemic. It had nudged the State in the direction of a speedy recovery.

The LDF faced no unfavourable situation on the ground. It could easily hold its own at the hustings. The government would hold the elections to panchayats, Municipalities and Corporations as per schedule in October.

The government was under no compulsion to persuade any party from the United Democratic Front (UDF) Opposition to defect to the LDF.

Mr. Vijayan said several non-Congress UDF leaders had praised the government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

It did not necessarily entail that they would defect to the LDF. Kerala Congress (Mani) chairman K. J. Joseph was one of them. Congress has not shed its hostility towards the government.

Kerala could not remain shut down forever. It had to live with the threat of COVID-19 until scientists developed an affordable and effective vaccine.

‘New opportunities’

The crisis had thrown open new opportunities. The State could become a magnet for global investment, given its high quality of life index. The trend to decentralise manufacturing could prove to be an economic windfall for the State.

Under LDF rule, Kerala had made considerable strides in infrastructure development, modernising health care and public education, prioritising the welfare of marginalised sections of society, building houses for the homeless and guaranteeing food security by universalising the public distribution system.

Mr. Vijayan accused the Central government of having created fissures in the federal system. It often pointedly denied Kerala its due.

“Satisfied States are integral to the Union. Kerala has interacted with the Centre and raised its demands in different tones. When it sprung demonetisation on the people, we adopted the path of protest,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 8:20:35 PM |

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