KERALA

Win back people's trust: Chandy tells politicians

KOTTAYAM, MAY 31. The UDF convenor and Congress leader, Oommen Chandy, has called upon all politicians to work together to bring back people's confidence in the democratic process and politicians.

Receiving the Devaki Gopidas Award instituted to honour politicians who practice clean and transparent politics, Mr. Chandy said the politician has gone down in status in the eyes of the public, especially when compared to the position and prestige they commanded during the freedom movement.

The strength of democracy is in the power of its people and all have to concede to the pre-eminence of people's power. In a democracy, even the decisions of the armed forces would have to be tempered with popular aspirations, he pointed out. Mr. Chandy also cautioned against the people losing confidence in the democratic process, which ultimately would lead to dangerous situations as was evident from the examples of our neighbouring countries.

Mr. Chandy said the UDF Liaison Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday would discuss the issues raised by the situation following the declaration fee structure for unaided professional colleges by the Justice K. T. Thomas Committee. Students who secure admission to these institutions to the Government seats should not be forced to pay the same quantum of fee. The issue, which has become complicate following the Supreme Court directive against subsidy and the Government would have to find ways to ensure social justice, he said.

Rich tributes were paid to Devaki Gopidas, former Congress MLA, Rajya Sabha member and Minority Commissioner, who died in a plane crash near Palam airport in New Delhi, 31 years ago. According to Mr. Chandy Ms. Gopidas epitomized the image of clean and transparent politics and was a living model for all young politicians during his formative years.

The Speaker, Vakkom Purushothaman, who gave away the award, said the political career of Devaki Gopidas was like a meteor, which shone brightly for a brief period and burned away before reaching its zenith. She belonged to an age when merit counted. "Today anyone can come up, if he or she has the right group affiliation'', Mr. Purushothaman said.

The award was instituted by the Devaki Gopidas Memorial Committee and was presented at a function organised by Sreenarayana Samskarika Samithy.

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