Kerala

Pinarayi-Modi stand-off takes a political hue

Pinarayi Vijayan

Pinarayi Vijayan  

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LDF decries Centre’s step-motherly attitude to State

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s strong stand against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for the latter’s refusal to meet him to discuss the State’s development issues, is developing into a full-scale political stand-off, going beyond a Centre-State issue.

Mr. Vijayan had pointed out to the constitutional impropriety of denying him an audience and the indifference shown to the State. On Sunday, the LDF gave it a distinct political turn with LDF convener A. Vijayaraghavan stating that the Union government was adopting a step-motherly attitude to the State. Mr. Vijayan said a consumer State like Kerala faced issues, which required Mr. Modi’s intervention, following the implementation of the Food Safety Act. But the Prime Minister had repeatedly refused to meet delegations from Kerala, he alleged.

Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran, in-charge of rail development, too picked holes on the stand adopted by Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and the Railway Board on the rail needs of the State.

The LDF’s strong anti-BJP line got a supporter in Kerala Congress (M) leader K.M. Mani. Mr. Mani said refusing audience to a State’s Chief Minister was akin to insulting the people of the State. “The Prime Minister’s office has breached the constitutionally mandated cordial relations between the Centre and States in a federal structure. A globe-trotting Prime Minister is treating Kerala with a political vengeance,” he said.

Rajagopal’s take

BJP legislator O. Rajagopal alleged that Mr. Vijayan was driven solely by his blind opposition to Mr. Modi. He attributed motives to the practice of Mr. Vijayan seeking audience with the Prime Minister whenever he was in Delhi. Issues raised by him could be handled by the Union Minister concerned. Modi’s stand only reflected his confidence in his Ministers’ ability. “The CM could have at least adopted the stand taken by CPI(M) leader V.S. Achuthanandan who utilised his time to lobby for the coach factory in Palakkad,” Mr. Rajagopal said.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 12:39:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/pinarayi-modi-stand-off-takes-a-political-hue/article24247940.ece

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