Kerala government has failed on all fronts, says Congress

Thiruvananthapuram, March 2 (IANS) The Kerala unit of the Congress on Thursday described the nine-month stint so far of the Pinarayi Vijayan government as “utter failure” and said that senior officials are engaged in a free-for-all among themselves.

Senior Congress legislator V.D. Sateeshan, while seeking leave for an adjournment motion, said the Vijayan government has failed on all fronts, as top officials are at war with one another and have very little time to spare for governance.

“All top officials, from the Chief Secretary to senior bureaucrats and top police officials, are now busy with court cases and what is strange is that some of these cases have been filed by the ‘agents’ of these officials against their adversaries,” said Sateeshan.

Sateeshan was apparently referring to Vigilance Director Jacob Thomas raiding the homes of senior IAS officials like K.M. Abraham and Tom Jose some time back, and Abraham now seeking a probe against Thomas.

Sateeshan also pointed to the observation of the Kerala High Court last month that “things have come to a stage where ‘Vigilance Raj’ is what prevails in Kerala”.

Owing to various actions of the Vigilance Department, the movement of files has become extremely slow: “With the Vigilance Department on a rampage, government officials are afraid to take decisions for the fear of cases getting registered against them and, therefore, governance has come to a standstill.”

Responding to the charges, Vijayan observed that differences of opinion between officials were bound to come up and that it had happened earlier as well.

“But once a decision is taken by the state government, then all officials comply with it. With regard to the complaints that have come up against officials, how can the state government be held responsible if people file complaints?

“Currently there are no issues between officials. Initially file movement was slow and there were 18,000 files before me. But today it’s only 200 files,” said Vijayan.

Before leading the opposition out of the House in protest against the alleged absence of governance, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala took on Vijayan by referring to reports of even the Chief Secretary preparing to leave at one point of time.

“We all agree that difference of opinion between officials happen, but the problem is you have not intervened. You have been an absolute failure as your government even failed to send the list of police officials for the President’s Medal.

“You have been in this post for nine months and all along you have failed to act on time. It is also baffling to note that even confidential reports are now easily available and reach the hands of people who use these to file cases against officials. It has never happened before,” Chennithala said.

–IANS

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