Kerala

Keralites stranded on State borders: Chennithala

‘Govt. has made no arrangement to transport them home’

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said on Monday that hundreds of Keralites from other States were stranded on the border because the government had made no arrangement to transport them home.

His office had received calls from distressed citizens stuck on Walayar border in Palakkad district. They had no means to get home on their own given the lockdown. They were isolated without food, water or access to toilet facilities.

“Opaque orders” from the Chief Secretary Tom Jose had caused the distress. The government had arranged no vehicles or camping facilities for them.

Flays KIFFB

Mr. Chennithala cited the purported decision to hire persons at a daily wage of ₹10,000 to staff the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIFFB) as the latest example of the government’s extravagance.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s “coterie of pliant special advisors” drew huge emoluments and perks from the cash-strapped treasury.

Five Cabinet-level posts and the “pointless” Administrative Reforms Commission were a weight on the money-strapped treasury. The CM’s security detail at the Secretariat alone numbered 58 officers.

The helicopter he hired for monthly rent of ₹1.7 crore languished in a hangar with its pilot in quarantine.

‘Monologue’

Mr. Vijayan's weekly programme, Nam Munnottu, was mostly a monologue with few flattering questions thrown in by a docile television anchor from Kairali, the official channel of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

It was the Kerala version of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s radio programme, Man Ki Baath.

Unlike his predecessors Oommen Chandy and E. K. Nayanar, Mr. Vijayan feared to take questions from the public.

He had contracted Kairali at a considerable cost to the taxpayer to produce the interaction instead of employing the Public Relations Department. Mr. Vijayan used the programme as a taxpayer-funded pulpit to berate the Opposition without giving them a right of reply.

Mr. Vijayan’s ₹20,000 crore COVID-19 aid package, which earned editorials, was a non-starter. The government’s “underhanded” deal with the controversial U.S.-based data analytics firm, Sprinklr Inc, continued unimpeded despite the criticism from the High Court.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 30, 2020 3:39:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/keralites-stranded-on-state-borders-chennithala/article31502941.ece

Next Story