Protest by Kerala ministers to divert attention: Vayalar Ravi

October 16th, 2008 - 8:16 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) Criticising the massive protest planned before parliament Friday by Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) ministers and legislators, union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi Thursday said it was being done to divert attention from the state government’s “misrule”. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, 16 ministers and 70 legislators of the LDF are to stage a march before parliament Friday, the day the parliament session begins.

“The agitation is being organised to divert people’s attention from the LDF government’s two-and-a-half year long misrule. It will have an adverse effect on the state government instead,” Ravi told reporters here.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led LDF has charged the UPA government with cutting the rice quota for the Above Poverty Line (APL) families in Kerala and turning down electricity from the central pool among other things.

Ravi claimed the UPA government was the only union government that had done a lot for Kerala’s overall development.

Elaborating the programmes and projects sanctioned for Kerala, he said: “The UPA government has so far sanctioned around Rs.320 billion (Rs.32,000 crore) projects for the state’s overall development. It is the most friendly government for Kerala.”

Citing projects sanctioned by the centre including the Vallarpadam Container terminal project, Vizhinjam port and rail coach factory in Palakkad, Ravi said most of the projects got sanction due to timely intervention by him and Defence Minister A.K. Antony, both from Kerala.

He also offered all help to the LDF government for sanctioning of various pending central projects.

Ravi alleged: “The state government is not keen in implementing various central government projects.”

Meanwhile, former Kerala minister and Kerala Congress leader K.M. Mani described the planned agitation by the chief minister and his ministerial colleagues as “anti-constitutional”.

He urged the chief minister to withdraw the agitation, saying it would hurt the federal set-up of the country.

“If they want to stage a protest against the central government, they should first resign from their constitutional positions,” said Mani, a legislator and a senior leader of the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala.

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