KOCHI: The state government on Friday found itself in a bind over the contradictory statements on the use of government funds for organising the women’s wall. While the affidavit filed by the government before the High Court on Thursday clearly said that it will tap Rs 50 crore earmarked for women’s empowerment, on Friday it took a volte-face, with the chief minister-led cabinet claiming that it had no intention to use its funds to make the women’s wall a success.
The affidavit and the court order give credence to the allegation that the state will be using the funds allocated for “women empowerment.”
The interim order on Friday directed the state to file an affidavit giving details of the total expenditure to be incurred for the event.
“This is more so because the State Attorney KV Sohan has referred us to the budget speech for the year 2018-19 where allocations are seen made for various social welfare schemes proposed by the government, especially with regard to women welfare and empowerment,” said the order of the High Court.
Besides, the affidavit filed by the state before the HC stated that in the 2018-2019 budget speech, it was declared that an amount of Rs 50 crore has been earmarked for various schemes aimed at preventing the atrocities against women. It was aimed to conduct a massive campaign by involving various categories of government employees including police, people’s representatives, lawyers, teachers and students and the general public.
“The ‘Vanitha Mathil’ is one such major campaign of the government being implemented through its newly-created women and child development department, as announced in the budget presented and approved by the legislative assembly of the state for the current financial year. The last quarter of the financial year is nearing and it is necessary to implement the programmes announced in the budget before the financial year ends. It is just like any other programme being conducted under the patronage or funding of the government,” said the affidavit.
The affidavit stated that the government sponsors several cultural activities like international film festival, state youth festival, etc.
The government even funds programmes and uses its machinery in the conduct of several cultural programmes like Nehru Trophy Jalolsavam and Kochi Muzaris Biennale which are being organised by private agencies or by various organisations.
CPM wants Christians, Muslims at the wall
T’Puram: The CPM is learnt to have decided to invite the religious minorities too to be part of the proposed women’s wall on January 1. The party is also planning to invite major religious leaders to join hands with the movement. The CPM state secretariat discussed the women’s wall movement and chalked out strategies to make it a major success. In view of criticisms that the initiative, which has been termed as a renaissance movement, has ignored Christian and Muslim communities, the party has decided that more sections should be included in the wall.
What the Govt affidavit says
In the 2018-2019 budget speech, it was declared that an amount of I50 crore has been earmarked for various schemes aimed at preventing the atrocities against women. The ‘Vanitha Mathil’ is one such major campaign of the government being implemented.