While the government has made several achievements in the last 365 days, they have also been rocked by several controversies.

First anniversary of Keralas LDF govt A look at some controversies and achievementsSreekesh Raveendran Nair
news Kerala Government Friday, May 26, 2017 - 07:38

The Left Democratic Front government in Kerala has completed a year, and on Thursday, the CPI(M)-led government celebrated their first anniversary. This time last year, Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn in as the Chief Minister, with a majority of 99 seats in a 140-member Assembly.

While the controversies were one too many, the Kerala government also has several achievements to be proud of in the last one year.

1. Complete electrification in the state: The official announcement about this will be made on May 29 in Kozhikode by the Chief Minister.

2. Completing the first phase of Kochi Metro: The 13km stretch from Aluva to Palarivattom has been cleared for commissioning. It is all set for inauguration. The metro will also employ transgender persons.

3. Launch of Livelihood, Inclusion, and Financial Empowerment (LIFE): In November 2016, the scheme was launched as a complete rehabilitation package for the homeless and landless people in the state.

4. Launch of Nava Kerala Mission: In the same month, this mission was launched to address the second generation challenges being faced by the People’s Plan campaign.

5. Arrears of the social welfare pensions to the tune of 190 crores were disbursed: Welfare pensions increased from Rs 600 to Rs 1100.

6. Forming of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB): In November 2016, the board was launched and its first meeting approved as many as 48 projects costing over Rs 4000 crore.

7. Transgenders in Kochi Metro 

Kochi Metro became the first ever government service to officially recruit a group of transgenders together. The metro which is all set to be inaugurated this month will have almost 30 transgenders working for it. 

8. Internet as citizen's right. 

In his maiden budget, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac alloted Rs 1,000 crore to provide free internet to 20 lakh poor households. The stage is also setting up as many as 1,000 free public Wi-Fi hotspots. 

9. Welfare of migrant workers 

In a move that was much appreciated, the Kerala government announced a medical insurance for migrant workers.  Kerala has laksh of migrants workers working across sectors and the scheme called 'Awaz' was initiated to provide insurance.

And while the government has made several achievements in the last 365 days, they have also been rocked by several controversies.

Here the five big rows which have put the government on back foot.

1. Power minister M M Mani’s sexist jibes

On April 23, Mani said that the women of Pembilai Orumai, a women’s collective fighting for the rights of Munnar tea plantation workers, were engaged in ‘immoral activities’ during their protest for better wages in 2015.

Mani justified his words saying that he was misquoted, and that his language is ‘rustic.’ The Kerala Chief Minister, too, defended MM Mani. But the CPI(M) was forced to warn Mani publically and to censure him, owing to growing public ire.

2. The row over the Munnar eviction drive

While they are alliance partners, the CPI and the CPI(M) have been engaged in a very public spat over the revenue department’s eviction drive in Munnar. The revenue portfolio is held by the CPI, and as part of the drive, they also demolished a cross that was erected by encroachers as a shield.

And though Christian groups did not object to the razing of the encroachment, CM Pinarayi Vijayan spoke against it, causing a further tiff between the two Left parties.

3. The suspicious death of Jishnu Pranoy, and the stifling of his parents’ protest

In April, parents of Jishnu Pranoy, a 19-year-old engineering student who was found dead in mysterious conditions at his college in January, protested in front of the DGP’s office.

But instead of allowing the peaceful protest and engaging with the grieving family, the police decided to remove them by force. Jishnu’s mother Mahija was dragged by a woman police personnel on the road. The way the police handled the protest, and the Chief Minister’s statement justifying the police act, earned the Kerala government a lot of flak.

4. The resignation of AK Saseendran for ‘explicit’ tape

Transport minister AK Sassendran resigned on March 26 after an audio clip of an explicit conversation, allegedly between him and a woman, was aired by a newly launched channel.

The controversy over the tape blew up at many levels: First, it was found that the tape was a ‘sting’ operation conducted by the TV channel Mangalam. But later, the women on the other end claimed that she was harassed by Saseendran on multiple occasions, which is why she decided to record his conversation.

Read: ‘Saseendran harassed me many times, I recorded the calls’: Mangalam woman journo goes to court

5. The resignation of EP Jayarajan

The state Industries Minister  EP Jayarajan resigned owing to nepotism charges on October 14, 2016. One of the strong faces of CPI(M), the sensational resignation was a big blow to the government.


Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.