THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress leadership has come down heavily on the government for its ‘salary challenge’. In a joint press conference, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy also urged the government not to politicise voluntary work. Meanwhile, the CPM criticised the Congress leadership for its statements. “Unlike during the floods, the state hasn’t suffered any major financial crisis now. In fact, compared to the previous time, the state is in a better financial position now.
The finance minister is covering up all these facts,” said Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala. He said the state will soon get `1,277 crore, the first instalment of `15,000 crore recommended by the Central Finance Commission. “It’s a fact that, for Covid prevention measures, the state got only `157 crore, which is very little. We should fight together in this matter. In addition, the state received `460 crore as flood relief fund last week,” he said.
The state recently received a total of `1,894 crore from the Centre. Additionally, there is another `1,717.36 crore lying unused in the flood relief fund. This can also be used for Covid prevention now. Chennithala said the government should not politicise voluntary work in connection with Covid-19. “When Congress and Muslim League workers engage in voluntary work, the police prevent them. But when CPM workers go for voluntary work, the police offer them all support,” he said.
Meanwhile, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran said there is widespread criticism on the ration distribution system. Even during the time of Covid, the state government has been indulging in extravaganza, he said. “The chief minister and the finance minister have no financial discipline. The cooperative sector is in deep crisis. Salary challenge shouldn’t be implemented without employees’ consent,” said Mullappally. Senior leader and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said there is need for a united fight. There should not be any forced money collection in the name of salary challenge, said Chandy. “All those who come forward to join hands in prevention measures should be brought together,” he said.
CPM criticises Cong leadership Meanwhile, the CPM leadership has come out against the Congress for calls against unity when the state is facing the pandemic in a united manner. The Congress’ opinion reflects a narrow-minded and immature political stand, said CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. The Pinarayi government has won accolades from across the globe for its effective Covid prevention measures. The state government has been able to contain the spread of coronavirus in an efficient manner.