Union Minister justifies Kerala Governor’s stand on opposing 11 ordinances

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan. File photo.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan. File photo. | Photo Credit: SREENIVASA MURTHY V

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan was right when he objected to the State Government’s move to reissue 11 ordinances, since the Government was trying to introduce ‘ordinance raj’, rather than get the executive order ratified by the Assembly, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan said here on Friday.

These ordinances ought to have ideally been passed in the previous Assembly session. The Governor can take a stand on such issues, he being the gatekeeper of the Constitution, since the Government was trying to violate Constitutonal norms. The Governor’s objection has resulted in the Government being forced to take the Constitutional path, he told media persons at the FACT premises in Eloor near here.

The Governor-Government stand off was over moves to pass among others, the controversial Kerala Lok Ayukta, 1999, amendment ordinance, and the Kerala Cooperative Societies Act, 2022, amendment ordinance. The Opposition too had petitioned Mr. Khan not to sign the ordinances.

Answering a question on repeated moves by Enforcement Directorate (ED) to question former Minister for Finance Thomas Issac in the KIIFB masala bond issue, Mr Muraleedharan said anyone who has been called for questioning by enforcement agencies must follow their directions, since opposing that amounted to ‘qeustioning the Constitution’. “The ED has been mandated with probing any suspected case of money laundering and the Supreme Court has clearly laid down its jurisdiction.”

On the allegation of political witch-hunt, he said different political leaders have been citing this, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. All this is an attempt to portray a clean image before the public. Even the SC did not restrain the probe against them, he said.

NH potholes

Referring to the Centre and State trading charges over dozens of recent accidents caused due to potholes on Kerala’s national highways, the Minister termed as ‘deplorable’ attempts to portray potholes under State and Central heads. “The officials concerned are duty bound to ensure roads in good condition, be it State or national highways. Matters have got worse over a section of political leaders and party men taking objection to the content and tag line of the advertisement of a Malayalam movie ‘Enna Thaan Case Kodu’ which refers to the perils posed by potholes that abound in the State. There is no need to be hyper sensitive to such references in movies.”

He added that the spree of fatal and other accidents caused by potholes on NHAI-owned Edapally-Mannuthy NH 544 was taken up with the officials concerned. The contracting firm ought to do repair/resurfacing works at its expense, if potholes developed within the defect-liability period (DLP), if needed by using cold mix bitumen (used generally in rainy weather) which was available in 25 kg packets. On whether NHAI officials will be questioned in connection with cases registered by CBI against the firm over a whole lot of alleged irregularities, he said it would depend on the evidence that is unearthed during the probe. There is also need to widen congested stretches where the daily passenger-car units (PCUs) is in excess of the capacity.

FACT issues

The Minister said BMS leaders from the FACT had recently met the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya. “I came here to get be better idea of issues pertaining to the firm and to talk to the stakeholders concerned, following which I would hand over a list of suggestions to Mr Mandaviya.”

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 3:58:44 pm |