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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 04 July 2022 4.37 AM IST

One year of Left government

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It has been one year since the Left Front government led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn in. One year is not enough time to assess the performance of a government. However, one year is enough to witness the signs indicating the direction of the government. The Left government achieved continuity of rule at a time when the Covid crisis tormented the state. Many prominent leaders of the opposition attempted to ridicule the LDF by stating that they achieved continuity of rule by distributing kits to the people. From this, we can understand that the Congress-led United Front is not embracing the facts. The distribution of quality kits to people who lost their jobs and suffered during the Covid period is no small matter. In present-day life, each individual gives importance to what benefits they will receive directly from the government. We must not overlook the fact that even those who were financially stable received kits happily. In a situation where there is no guarantee of anything, people want a government that can keep its word. The first Pinarayi government had to face several adverse situations such as Nipah, Ockhi, two floods and Covid. Although these disasters were more than enough to overpower any government, the LDF government, under the leadership of the Chief Minister, held everyone together and faced the challenges with confidence and determination. The government managed to create an impression that there was a government that cared even for living beings. Moreover, it was able to start a new leap forward on the path of development. The first Pinarayi government faced several controversies such as the gold smuggling case and ED's intervention, towards the fag end of its term. However, these controversies were not able to prevent the LDF from securing a stupendous win in the 2021 assembly elections. This was because people were convinced that the LDF government will work for their welfare and the development of the state. After suffering a setback in the Lok Sabha elections, the Left government was ready to put aside unnecessary arrogance and embrace public sentiment and change accordingly. The people of Kerala gifted continuity of rule to the Left by keeping all this in mind.

During its first year, the second Pinarayi government witnessed several controversies in connection with the K-Rail project. Here too, the Left government has taken a firm stand with the conviction that K-Rail is the most beneficial project in the future for the interest and development of the state. However, the opposition has been staging strong agitations against the project. We must assess the construction activities of the National Highway along with the K-Rail project. Had it not been for the natural calamities, the construction works could have started during the term of the first Pinarayi government itself. Everyone is convinced that the construction of the National Highway will change the face of Kerala. There will be a belief among the people that such a government will implement K-Rail as well. Now, the focus should be on abandoning the path of confrontation and implementing the project. Protests will continue until the project gets completed. However, the government has completed its first year by imparting the belief that this is not a government that will falter or retreat in front of such protests. The government was able to complete the GAIL pipeline project in 2021 by overcoming opposition. The Left Front had put forward 900 promises in its election manifesto. Of these, 765 items are at different stages of completion within the first year. The government also made an achievement by initiating and moving forward with projects to protect the public sector, attract private investment and double the tourism market. The KSEB was able to achieve profit after several years. The government also initiated the modernization of the higher education sector. During the last one year, 12,067 houses were provided under the LIFE scheme and 13,534 families were provided with leases. The Public Works Department completed works worth Rs 1000 crore within the first year. The government can be proud of being able to launch an alternative model of development and governance within a year.

At the same time, Kerala's total debt is approaching Rs 4 lakh crore, which is a matter of great concern. There is a situation where there is not enough money even to pay the salary. The government should take seriously the warnings raised by the opposition regarding the poor financial situation. The government has not been able to effectively curb inflation in the public market. Meanwhile, we should not ignore that the government was able to strengthen the public distribution system and made it more efficient. The pathetic performance of KSRTC is a setback for the government. KSRTC is not something that can be saved only by borrowing loans. The government should urgently show the will to bring about structural reforms and changes. The government has not been able to completely eradicate farmer suicides. It is also imperative that everyone stands together to avoid the occasional political murders in the state.

As the government completes one year, we can easily say that it is leading Kerala on the path of hope and progress. The government should focus more on completing public welfare projects without wasting time.

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