Governance in Kerala has come to standstill, says Congress

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Thiruvananthapuram : With Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan away in the United State for treatment and none given the charge of the post, the governance has come to a standstill in Kerala, said the opposition Congress on Tuesday.

The convention in Kerala is that the Cabinet meets every Wednesday.

Speaking to the media here, Ramesh Chennithala, the Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly, said the state is passing through a difficult time as there has been no Cabinet meeting ever since Vijayan left for the US on September 2.

"This is happening because Vijayan has not given charge to any other Cabinet Minister. This is similar to what happened in Tamil Nadu when then Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa was in hospital," said Chennithala.

He said Kerala never had to face such a situation before.

While no one has been officially given the charge, the de facto Chief Minister is state Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, as he is the one who is currently accepting donations to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund, after Kerala was hit by one of the worst-ever floods last month.

"We are hearing that senior Cabinet ministers from CPI-M are unhappy with unofficial handing over of the charge to Jayarajan. The CPI is also understood to be unhappy over the way things are moving in the state," added Chennithala.

Among the CPI-M Ministers, while Jayarajan is a senior member of the party, state's Finance Minister Thomas Isaac and Culture Minister A.K. Balan have much wider experience as ministers, unlike Jayarajan who has only an year's experience.

"The sanctity of Cabinet is being questioned, as very crucial decisions regarding the rebuilding of Kerala in the aftermath of the worst-ever floods is being taken by a sub-committee of ministers. Such crucial decisions will not pass muster with any court, if someone contests," said the Congress leader.

As per the travel plan of Vijayan, he is expected to return after undergoing treatment for a "mystery illness" on September 19.

Published : Tuesday, September 11, 2018 19:30 [IST]
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