Thiruvananthapuram, June 24: A little over four months ago Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam had credited the then Oommen Chandy-led state government with doing a great job, but on Friday he flayed the same regime in his address to the Kerala assembly as the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has taken over the reins.
"My government has been voted to power by the people of Kerala with great expectations and high hopes. People have decisively reacted against corruption, favouritism and nepotism. The verdict reflects the strong displeasure of the voters against anti-people policies, atrocities on women, weakening of secularism and declining agricultural growth...," said Sathasivam.
Incidentally in February this year, Sathasivam termed Chandy government's five-year tenure as a "golden age of opportunities", an age where dreams came true, an age that propelled Kerala towards growth and development, an age which has opened several doors that would bring in more and more opportunities for a holistic development of the people of Kerala.
However, the April 16 assembly elections changed all that in an instant. The Left Democratic Front led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) stormed to power after winning 91 seats in the 140-member state assembly, while the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) won only 47 seats.
Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn in as the new chief minister on May 25.
Six-time legislator P.C George, who contested as an Independent candidate this year, slammed the whole exercise of Governor's Address as a farce and demanded that suitable amendments should be brought to stop this, as the same Governor lauded the Chandy government a few months ago only to slam it today.
"The Governor is duty-bound to read out what the government gives," said George.
In his address, Sathasivam pointed out that the state is facing an acute financial crisis.
"My government is today facing the unenviable task of steering the state out of this. The entire borrowing ceiling now permitted by the central government is just sufficient to meet the day to day expenditure of the state government," said Sathasivam.
"To mobilise borrowings from abroad, two of our financial institutions will be restructured as non-banking financial companies and aligned in compliance of Security and Exchange Board of India and Reserve Bank of India regulations," he added.
The government is also getting ready with a new IT policy which will be in tune with the changing demands of the IT industry.
The address also mentioned a possible change in the liquor policy of the Chandy government which now allows the functioning of bars in around 27 five-star hotels.
"My government is of the view that restrictions on consumption of liquor have not yielded the desired positive impact. The opinion of all sections of the society will be taken into account before my government formulates its policy stand," said Sathasivam.
He concluded by saying that the promises that have been made to the people have to be fulfilled.
"My government will not be deterred. We shall overcome the challenges, daunting as they are. There will be zero tolerance to corruption," added Sathasivam.
Reacting to the address, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said that while on the one hand the new rulers have pointed out that they will take forward some policies of the previous government, they claim that there has been no development that has taken place in the past five years.
"This clearly shows that there is no sense of direction and they appear to be in the dark on how to go forward. They have said that they will discuss the liquor policy with all concerned sections of the society, once that happens, we will make our opinion," said Chennithala.
The assembly will take up the Governor's Address for discussion next week with a resolution on vote of thanks, and when that happens, sparks are certain to fly.