Thiruvananthapuram: The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala completed one year in office Thursday claiming to have ushered in a corruption-free environment, though it faced a host of controversies including resignation of two ministers and tussles involving bureaucrats.
The Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan-led government, which came to power in May 25 last year with a massive mandate, was able to launch a series of welfare schemes and development programmes with a slogan Lets Make Progress Together.
However, according to political observers various controversies and differences of opinion openly expressed by CPI, the second largest partner in the ruling front on certain core issues, put the government in an spot couple of times during the period.
LIFE, a scheme to provide home for homeless, Aardhram, a programme to ensure cost effective but quality treatment at state-run hospitals, initiative to upgrade 1,000 government schools to international level and a massive investment plan to a tune of Rs 20,000 crore in the infrastructure front were some of the major flagship projects taken up during the last one year.
But, the resignations of E P Jayarajan as Industries minister in November on Nepotism charges and Transport minister A K Saseendhran following sleaze talk with a woman, and re-instatement of DGP T P Senkumar by the Supreme Court, caused embarrassment to the government.
Controversial remarks made by CPI(M) leader and Power Minister M M Manis against women also put the government in a fix, forcing the party to openly censure him.
Besides, the frequent tussle between IAS officers and IPS officer Jacob Thomas, and the alleged inability of the Chief Minister to check them also to some extent took the sheen away from Vijayans image of a man with two chests as his admirers call him for his tough stand and strong decisions.
Death of two Maoists in an alleged encounter in the Wayanad forest area and CPI taking objection to the elimination of left radicals was also a weapon to the Congress-led UDF Opposition to beat the ruling front.
The public spat between CPI(M) and CPI leaders over the anti-encroachment drive and removal of a cross from an alleged government land in Munnar in Idukki district also gave fodder to the opposition to attack the government.
Brushing aside his critics, Vijayan has maintained that the LDF government was able to usher in a new political culture which was free from corruption, "the hallmark of the previous UDF government."
One of the main objectives of the LDF was to build up an alternative policy at a time when the country was facing communalism and globalisation threats, he said.
Explaining the agenda, Vijayan said, "We have focussed on four issues such as cleansing decaying political culture, push up infrastructure development and strengthen social welfare."
"This is a government of poor people and the state is waking up to a new development era," Vijayan claimed.
On the otherhand, UDF Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala came out with a charge sheet saying "this government is a one that had erred in all fields."
Pointing at the frequent political violence between the CPI-M and the BJP in parts of the state especially Kannur, from where Chief Minister hails, Chennithala said, "Kannur has been turned into a land of violence."
Slamming the government, BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan, said the achievements mentioned in the full page advertisements given by the government in all newspapers was "false and baseless."
The state government implemented only the central schemes with changes in names.
Giving an example, he said the much hyped Life mission was actually Prime ministers Awas yojana.
Kummanam also wondered why the advertisement did not contain anything on law and order situation.