Congress leader and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government had wrongly claimed credit for eradicating poverty in Kerala.
Mr. Chandy’s reaction came against the backdrop of the NITI Ayog’s report that 0.71& of Kerala’s population was multidimensionally poor.
The National Multidimensional Poverty Index (NMPI) had said Kerala registered a low count on almost all the parameters of deprivation concerning child and adolescent mortality (0.19%), maternal health (1.73%), years of schooling (1.78%), school attendance (0.3), and sanitation (1.1). The deprivation parameters regarding nutrition, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets and bank accounts also had the State scoring low.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had reacted to the NMPI report by stating: “Our unwavering commitment to social welfare is reflected in this achievement that will be a huge boost to our efforts to eradicate extreme poverty”.
Mr. Chandy said the NMPI report was based on the findings of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) conducted in 2015-16 when the Congress-led United Democratic Front was in power. The NITI Ayog had also said it would publish an updated index based on the 2019-20 NFHS. Mr. Vijayan might have inadvertently misread the report.
The UDF Government had given ration free, and its Karunya scheme made modern treatment affordable for disadvantaged families. The UDF’s accent on child nutrition and poverty eradication had aided Kerala climb out of deprivation, he said.