THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala's CPI(M)-led LDF government has decided to send a two-member high-level official team to Gujarat this week to study a system aiding good governance introduced by the BJP-ruled state, sparking a row in the southern state.
Kerala Chief Secretary VP Joy and his staff officer Umesh NSK will visit the BJP-ruled state from April 27 to April 29 to attend the presentation on the Gujarat Chief Minister's Dashboard system for project implementation in the western state.
The Left government's decision to send its top officials to Gujarat was criticised by the Congress and the Muslim League.
The BJP welcomed the decision.
Attacking the state government over the issue, state Congress chief K Sudhakaran sought to know whether the CPI(M)-led government was planning to emulate in Kerala the model followed in Gujarat, "a breeding ground of extreme Hindutva ideologies which is soaked in blood of the minorities."
He alleged that the Kerala officials' visit to Gujarat should be seen as part of the expansion of relations between the BJP and the CPI(M) at the level of governance.
The personal relation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Vijayan was the factor that motivated the latter to send a team to study the "Gujarat model", he claimed.
Sudhakaran also alleged that an understanding has been reached between the CPI(M) and the BJP at the national level.
BJP state president K Surendran said CM Vijayan decided to send the Chief Secretary to study the dashboard system there as he realised that "the Gujarat model is the right model".
In a statement, he urged Vijayan to abandon the "failed Kerala model" and implement the successful Gujarat model in the southern state.
"The efficiency of the Government of Gujarat in project implementation, the performance of government departments and the progress made through the implementation of the dashboard system should be recognised and implemented in Kerala as well," Surendran said.
BJP national vice president A P Abdullakutty, who was expelled by the CPI(M) from the party in 2009 for praising then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's governance model, urged the Vijayan-led government in the state to also send a team of officials to BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh to study how to run state-run transport buses.
Abullakutty, then CPI(M) MP from Kannur, was expelled from the party on the charge of breach of discipline by "joining class enemies".
He had embarrassed the CPI(M) by stating that the efforts of Modi to bring development to Gujarat were worthy of emulation, even as he did not agree with his "anti-minority" approach.
Defending the state government's decision, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said politics should not become a hindrance in studying new things.
CPI is a key partner in the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF.
Indian Union Muslim League leader and senior MLA P K Kunhalikutty said there was nothing that Kerala needs to learn from Gujarat.
Instead of sending a team of officials to Gujarat, a team from that state should visit Kerala to study "the Kerala Model", he said.
RSP leader Shibu Baby John, who was criticised by the CPI(M) for visiting then Gujarat CM Modi in 2013 as the Labour Minister of Kerala in the Congress-led UDF government, also took potshots at the Left government for its decision to send the state's top bureaucrat to Gujarat to study "the Gujarat Model".
"CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had alleged that Kerala, which was number one, had nothing to learn from any other state and that I had met Modi on the instructions of the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The CPI(M) also demanded my resignation. The CPI(M) still organises campaigns against me during election times holding my photo with Modi," he said in a Facebook post.
"Today, on the instructions of Chief Minister Vijayan, the Chief Secretary and other top officials are going to Gujarat to study the Gujarat Model. What does Kodiyeri have to say when V P Joy and top officials go to Gujarat? Does Kodiyeri have the courage to say that Pinarayi should resign? Does Kerala need to learn from other states now?" John asked.