Brewery controversy may still haunt the government and LDFtext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Although licences granted for starting new breweries have been cancelled, there are mysteries that still linger around the issue. The controversy has made a blot on the image of the LDF government, and more particularly of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, gained through the Chengannur bypoll victory and the creditable handling of the flood situation.
It will not be surprising if it even becomes a political setback to the leader. The decision to cancel the licence can perhaps be read as an acceptance of defeat before the opposition.
The CPM as a party is in fact feeling relieved that it has wriggled out of the crisis. The initial reaction of leaders including Excise minister was that such a decision did not require cabinet approval or a policy decision by LDF after discussion. Even at the CPM Secretariat level, there was no further discussion beyond the explanation given by CM.
When the opposition started its moves targeting the Excise minister and more details emerged about the official steps, the chief minister's explanation lost its weight. This was followed by some difference of opinion within the CPM itself.
At the last state secretariat of CPM, leaders expressed doubts whether adequate diligence was applied in the matter. Even at that point, no one was bold enough to go to the extent of correcting the chief minister.
Soon, the chief minister also realized that the opposition was making political gains every day. No sooner did this realization came than he called a press conference, and put an end to the controversy by declaring the decision. Significantly enough, this was just hours before the cabinet meeting.
But even at that stage, the cabinet and CPI-CPM leadership were in 'ignorance' about the path of steps leading to the brewery approvals.