UDF slams secrecy surrounding CM’s foreign trip


Leader of the Opposition V. D. Satheesan has slammed the ‘secrecy’ surrounding Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s foreign tour. 

Mr. Satheesan clarified that the UDF was not opposed to Mr Vijayan’s private visits abroad. However, the public has been perplexed by the lack of transparency surrounding these trips. 

He said Mr. Vijayan had abandoned governance for 16 days. He had left behind a State reeling under a sweltering heat wave and water and power scarcity. There was a power vacuum at the Secretariat. Mr. Vijayan has not handed over the charge of the Chief Minister’s Office to any cabinet colleague. 

Agrarian distress caused by heat-induced crop failure has beset the State’s farming sector. Sea swells inundated coastal neighbourhoods, further burdening fisher families disadvantaged by low catch. 

He said Mr. Vijayan seemed oblivious that driving tests remained stalled due to the MVD’s contentious rules. More than nine lakh candidates were awaiting the tests and issuance of permits, including lakhs aspiring for a driving career in the country and abroad. The Cabinet has failed to convene due to Mr Vijayan’s truancy.

KPCC president K. Sudhakaran said Mr. Vijayan had left Kerala to forestall the party from deploying him for campaigning in West Bengal and Tripura. He told Mr Vijayan was reluctant to ruffle Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s feathers and had scaled down his political profile nationally. He also slammed Mr. Vijayan for not handing over the charge to a cabinet colleague, terming the CM insecure. He also asked Mr Vijayan to clarify who bankrolled the foreign trip. 

CPI(M) State Secretary M.V. Govindan said Mr. Vijayan paid for the trip from his pocket. Mr. Vijayan had sought travel permission from the Central government and the CPI(M). He said Mr. Vijayan was entitled to personal time with family after a season of hectic campaigning. He said the opposition had seized on the non-issue to target Mr. Vijayan when its other attacks had failed. 

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