Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's proposed 17-day-long treatment, at state expense at US' famed Mayo Clinic for an undisclosed ailment has led to a number of adverse reactions from across the spectrum.
According to Kerala's General Administration Department, Vijayan, accompanied by his wife Kamala Vijayan, will leave for the US on August 19 and return on September 6, with the entire expenses to be met by the state exchequer.
The first reaction came from Kerala's foremost industrialist who is also one of the highest tax payers.
Kochuouseph Chittilappilly wrote in his Facebook page on Tuesday: "Nothing personal, but while reading this news I remembered about the days when we had labour strike at V-Guard years back... The CITU people then called me 'Petty Burshua ... American cheruppu nakki..' At that time I was only a small scale industrialist, having only an old Lamby scooter. How time flies and ideals and ideologies change!!."
Chittilappilly whose group companies owns premier leisure water parks, electronic and electrical appliances, textile units in Kerala and outside, had a few years taken on the militant Kerala trade unions by single-handedly unloading things from a truck, after head-load workers demanded hefty rates for the work.
MT Sulekha, widow of late Congress veteran G. Karthikeyan also reacted.
While wishing him a successful trip, she however cautioned Vijayan, that he will have to be prepared to answer so many questions on what happened there.
"When I returned from Mayo Clinic with my husband, his office (Karthikeyan was the Speaker of the Kerala Assembly) had to answer several questions that came from an activist through the RTI window and it included questions like which medical professional here asked that the Speaker should go to US for treatment, who all accompanied the Speaker, which all countries were visited and such questions.
"So you should be prepared to keep a list of all what you do, as there will be such questions, when you are back," wrote the retired college professor.
Ahead of the 2001 assembly elections, which the Congress-led United Democratic Front won, one big campaign issue was a photo, captioned "Revolutionaries in a UK hospital", showing veteran Left leader VS Achuthanandan lying in a hospital bed in Britain with the then Chief Minister EK Nayanar visiting him.