THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On the eve of the LDF Government led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan completing four years, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala had dubbed him a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ in the context of Covid preventive measures.
Chennithala has his own reasons to say so since he claims that Pinarayi managed to galvanise his disastrous four years of corruption, extravagance and misgovernance with the help of the pandemic. During the pre-COVID days, the Opposition had raised the Walayar rape and death case, saying it showed the inhumane face of the Pinarayi government.
He has no qualms in giving zero mark for the LDF's four years in office as he laments that the state has lagged on the development front and instead landed in huge debt. Chennithala feels the LDF government doesn’t have any mega development project to its credit and that it has only followed up on projects like Kochi Metro, Vizhinjam Transshipment Container Terminal and Kannur International Airport Limited conceived by the previous government.
According to him, along with the chief minister, Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac is responsible for pushing the state into doldrums financially. Under the LDF government, the state has a debt of Rs 1 lakh crore. Also, the Rs 1,780 crore received from World Bank had been diverted.
"Pinarayi government is mired in corruption -- purchase of helicopter, appointment of advisors and nepotism in awarding the contract for the BevQ app to a party fellow traveller are some of the instances. Look at the way the government is trying to protect the startup company behind the virtual queue app," Chennithala told TNIE.
"During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the LDF thought they would romp home with the support of women voters following the Sabarimala issue. It turned out to be a pipe dream as the UDF secured a landslide winning 19 LS seats. We are quite hopeful of emerging victorious in both the elections in a convincing manner," he said.
Initially when the Sprinklr data transaction row was highlighted by the Opposition Leader, the general feeling among the people was how it is going to affect them. When Chennithala held daily press briefings during which he presented facts and figures to substantiate his claims, the public listened to him.
Chennithala feels he has won only 70 per cent of the battle against Sprinklr which had the backing of the government.
"The Sprinklr data transaction row is currently before the high court. We will continue our fight. If we had not revealed the extent of the damage Sprinklr and the LDF government have been inflicting, they would have used the personal details of more than five lakh people for commercial purposes as well. Who knows whether it has not happened?" said Chennithala.
The Opposition leader may not be quite a crowd-puller. But he speaks convincingly which has put him in good stead to emerge as the front-runner for the post of the next chief minister. With the Pinarayi government repeatedly faltering in its steps, it may not be long before Chennithala reaches the Cliff House from his present Cantonment House residence.