THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The members of the Opposition UDF on Wednesday walked out of the Assembly in protest against the government’s failure to come up with plan to rebuild the state and provide assistance to the flood affected even 100 days after the flood. The walkout came at the end of a discussion on the rebuild and rehabilitation of the post-flood Kerala on the basis of an adjournment motion moved by V D Satheesan MLA of the Congress.
Satheesan said the flood rehabilitation of the state has completely been hit and the affected people are yet to receive the flood assistance and benefit of various projects announced by the government. Various government agencies are also dragging their feet in timely execution of the works related to rehabilitation and rebuilding of the state.
The discussion also witnessed some healthy suggestions. K N A Khader of Muslim League said the state should try to buy the chopper pressed for airlifting, instead of paying `33.9 crore to the Centre as rent. He said it is very sad the Centre which has funds to construct busts and statues spending thousands of crores of rupees has turned a blind eye to the request of state seeking funds to rebuild and rehabilitate the flood-affected people. Mullakara Ratnakaran of CPI said the state needs a ‘Nava Mind’ before rebuilding Nava Kerala.
P C George, who recently teamed up with the BJP, was very supportive to ruling bench and even praised Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for coordinating the flood relief works even without going for scheduled treatment. M K Muneer said the government should first construct at least one side of the damaged-houses instead of appointing masons for building a ‘renaissance wall’. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala led frontal attack on the government which was then followed by other Congress leaders.
While replying to the motion, Chief Minister said it is very heartwarming to see that cutting across party-line, the leaders are unanimous in protesting against the snub of the Centre. He also urged the Opposition parties to move ahead together to rebuild the state. However, at the end of the discussion, the Opposition leaders led by Ramesh Chennithala walked out of the Assembly saying the response of the state government was not satisfactory.
Opposition leader’s charge
While replying to the CM’s address in the Assembly, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala showed a reply given by the state government stating the Revenue Department had not conducted any study on the data collection related to flood, which created an uproar in the Assembly. He questioned the arrogance of the Chief Minister, especially in matters like salary challenge.
But the Chief Minister said it was owing to the patronage of the Opposition parties that a section of staff abstained from the salary challenge. He said the state insisted on signing a declaration form to deduct three days’ salary from the account of the staff as their permission was mandatory.