With Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan away in the United States for treatment and none given the charge of the post, the governance has come to a standstill in Kerala, said the opposition Congress on Tuesday.
The convention in Kerala is that the Cabinet meets every Wednesday.
Speaking to the media in Thiruvananthapuram, Ramesh Chennithala, the Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly, said the state is passing through a difficult time as there has been no Cabinet meeting ever since Pinarayi left for the US on September 2.
"This is happening because Pinarayi Vijayan has not given charge to any other Cabinet Minister. This is similar to what happened in Tamil Nadu when then Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa was in hospital," said Chennithala.
He said Kerala never had to face such a situation before.
"The sanctity of Cabinet is being questioned, as very crucial decisions regarding the rebuilding of Kerala in the aftermath of the worst-ever floods is being taken by a sub-committee of ministers. Such crucial decisions will not pass muster with any court, if someone contests," said the Congress leader.
While no one has been officially given the charge, the de facto Chief Minister is state Industries Minister EP Jayarajan, as he is the one who is currently accepting donations to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund, after Kerala was hit by one of the worst-ever floods last month.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister's Office (CMO) refuted the charges saying that after going to the United States for treatment, CM Pinarayi had cleared as many as 316 files between September 3 and September 9.
â€śEven though the CM is out of station, he himself takes decisions on all important issues on a regular basis and issues necessary directives. The CM has been interacting with ministers and senior bureaucrats. Hence, there were no hindrance to running of administrative matters,â€ť said the CMO in a statement.
Terming the charges baseless, the CMO said that the Opposition was trying to gain political mileage in the absence of the CM.
"We are hearing that senior Cabinet ministers from CPI (M) are unhappy with unofficial handing over of the charge to Jayarajan. The CPI is also understood to be unhappy over the way things are moving in the state," added Chennithala.
Among the CPI (M) Ministers, while Jayarajan is a senior member of the party, state's Finance Minister Thomas Isaac and Culture Minister AK Balan have much wider experience as ministers, unlike Jayarajan who has only a year's experience.
As per the travel plan of Pinarayi, he is expected to return after undergoing treatment for a "mystery illness" on September 19.