LDF government won’t get pass mark: Satheesan
Reviewing the performance of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala as it completes a year, opposition leader VD Satheesan said confidence in the second Pinarayi Vijayan government had plummeted to a record level.
In an interview at The Hindu On Tuesday, Mr Satheesan said the law and order situation in the state had deteriorated with political and community killings occurring with every passing day. “From Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram, the state has transformed into a goonda corridor. The convicts are on parole. Over 14,000 identified goons roam free. The police are controlled by CPI(M) officers at the district level. People don’t feel safe,” Satheesan said.
He said public sectors such as Kerala State Electricity Board, Kerala State Road Transport Corporation and Kerala Water Authority were in poor condition. “The Ministry of Health is the worst. This LDF government, despite getting a second term, will not get a passing grade,” Satheesan said.
Regarding the SilverLine semi-high-speed train project, Mr Satheesan said Congress supported the agitations as Kerala was an environmentally fragile land. “Who would want to support a government that falsified the data in the preliminary and final feasibility reports,” he asked.
The Congress leader said the government failed to dispel the doubts in the minds of the people and establish real facts about the project. “None, including the chief minister, has answers to the environmental and social questions raised by the experts. Furthermore, its technical viability and economic feasibility remain questionable,” Satheesan said.
He said that the entire population of Kerala would be victims of the SilverLine project. “Although the government says the cost of the project is ₹64,000 crore, the NITI Aayog has categorically stated that it is ₹1. 33 lakh crore in 2018. Now the cost has been estimated at ₹2 lakh crore,” he said, adding that the Center and the railways had not approved the project.
On the role of the opposition, Satheesan said the Congress party has taken a constructive approach to development. “We are not ready to oppose the government on everything. We tried to deviate from the conventional style adopted by an opposition party against the ruling front. We have raised many issues concerning fishermen, farmers and tribal people in the halls of the Assembly. But this government has not acted,” Satheesan said.