Pinarayi Vijayan on cusp of new electoral chapter

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With only a day left for the meeting ballot counting, Left strongman Pinarayi Vijayan may properly be on the trail to rewriting historical past. Going by the prevailing political sentiment within the state, the 76-year-old CPM chief may change into solely the third Chief Minister in Kerala historical past to be re-elected and the primary to proceed in workplace after finishing a full time period. An LDF win could be simply the second occasion of a ruling entrance receiving consecutive phrases. Political observers really feel such a growth may result in main political realignments within the state. 

C Achutha Menon was the primary to get re-elected, adopted by Okay Karunakaran. Achutha Menon grew to become CM after the top of the 1967 EMS authorities. He resigned from the Rajya Sabha and took over in November 1969. It was a new coalition and authorities. In 1970, the state went to polls once more and Achutha Menon was re-elected. 

In 1980, the E Okay Nayanar authorities rose to energy with the assist of the A Okay Antony-led Congress faction. “Later, the Antony faction left the government. In turn, there was a change of guard and Karunakaran took over in 1981 December. That was more of a makeshift arrangement with constant casting votes and other similar tactics. In May 1982, Karunakaran retained power,” reminisced Left commentator Appukkuttan Vallikkunnu. 

Technically, if re-elected, Pinarayi would change into the third CM to retain energy. But he would be the first to take action after helming a authorities for 5 years. In 1977, the Congress entrance authorities was led by CPI’s Achutha Menon. Though the entrance returned to energy within the polls held after Emergency, it was Karunakaran who headed the federal government. Hence, a comeback to energy for Pinarayi would undoubtedly be a primary of its variety in Kerala politics.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan greeting the gathering at a public assembly at Kozhikode seaside on March 28, 2021, forward of the Assembly elections

Vallikkunnu, nonetheless, says such situations had performed out for the Left even prior to now. The 1987 Nayanar authorities was on a powerful footing on the time, and desirous to money in on the identical, went for elections after simply 4 years, to coincide with the West Bengal polls. Similarly, in 2011, the V S Achuthanandan authorities too stood a powerful probability of a comeback, however the occasion itself was not eager on VS getting one other time period, Vallikkunnu stated. 

A second time period in workplace for Pinarayi will see main political realignments, thereby paving the way in which for Left forces to tilt in direction of the best of centre, stated political scientist J Prabhash. “Left politics would indeed be majorly affected. Over time, the Pinarayi government has become less Left, and CPM stands to be more right-centric in future. Secondly, Pinarayi would assume a heftier stature than anyone else in the party, including the top party brass. He’s already the tallest leader at the moment. A victory would further legitimise his claim. With a verdict in his favour, he’ll cement his position and officially formalise his position in the Left, for all purposes,” Prabhash identified.

A defeat for UDF may properly sound the loss of life knell for the Congress, not solely in Kerala however on the nationwide stage too. On the opposite hand, for BJP, even when defeated, it could a minimum of hope to rebuild itself on the ruins of an completely decaying Congress occasion. Irrespective of all assessments, the very fact stays that Pinarayi is the one chief now in Kerala succesful of bagging a second time period. “Both the party and the front fought these polls by leaning on him alone,” added Prabhash. What stands between Pinarayi and historical past might be only a few seats. The recreation lies within the numbers, as they are saying!


As the state gears up for the meeting election outcomes on May 2, TNIE takes a have a look at the main developments throughout the Pinarayi regime 

Ministers’ resignations

April 13, 2021.
Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel resigned after state Lokayukta discovered him responsible of nepotism. 

November 27, 2018. 
Water Resources Minister Mathew T Thomas resigned as half of internal occasion settlement to induct Okay Krishnankutty as minister.

November 15, 2017. 
Late Thomas Chandy, then transport minister, resigned following allegations of violation of land-related legal guidelines and encroachment of backwaters for his resort in Alappuzha. 

March 26, 2017. 
Transport Minister A Okay Saseendran compelled to resign after a sleaze discuss row. The minister from NCP was changed by occasion colleague Thomas Chandy inside 4 days. Ten months later, Thiruvananthapuram Judicial First Class Magistrate Court acquitted him  citing lack of proof and he was reinstated later.

October 14, 2016.
Industries minister E P Jayarajan stepped down on the 142nd day of the LDF govt following nepotism allegations. He was reinstated after vigilance gave him clear chit.

Flood, gold and furore

Ockhi, November 2017 
Cyclone Ockhi struck the nation, killing 365 folks throughout the nation, together with round 60 fishermen from Kerala. As many as 102 fishermen went lacking and had been later presumed lifeless by the federal government. 

Mega flood, August 16, 2018: 
The flood that devastated Kerala in August 2018, following unprecedented monsoon downpour, was among the many 5 excessive floods on this planet between 2015 and 2019. As many as 433 folks died. The whole financial loss was estimated at D31,000 crore.

Distillery brewery, Oct 2018. 
The Opposition alleged that the state govt flouted norms in issuing licenses to a few breweries in Kannur, Palakkad and Ernakulam. Within 5 days, the govt. was compelled to cancel the licences, a lot to the Opposition’s delight.

LS ballot debacle, May 23, 2019:
UDF trounced LDF by strolling away with 19 out of 20 Lok Sabha seats within the state. LDF solely received the Alappuzha seat.

Second flood: August 8, 2019:
Before the state may recuperate from the mega flood of 2018 absolutely, one other deluge struck. Heavy rain and landslides between August 8 and 26 left 125 folks lifeless, whereas 17 went lacking. As many as 1,795 homes had been broken absolutely and 14,559 had been broken partially.

Covid, January 30, 2020:
On January 30 final yr, India’s first Covid-19 case was reported from Kerala. Though the second wave this yr is witnessing a gradual spike within the quantity of instances, the state’s battle in opposition to the virus has been hailed as a mannequin for the nation.

Food kits, March 2020. 
The meals equipment distribution began by the LDF Government when Covid caught in March 2020 has been persevering with because the second wave of the virus wreaks havoc. The kits, containing important groceries {that a} household would require for a month, had been made obtainable to all ration cardholders.

Sprinklr row, April 2020: 
Following robust criticism from varied quarters, primarily the Opposition and privateness rights activists, the LDF authorities backed out of its take care of US agency Sprinklr for managing knowledge of Covid-19 sufferers.

BevQ app, May 2020: 
Opposition chief Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the federal government favoured an inexperienced agency with political hyperlinks to CPM management to develop BevQ, a cellular app for digital queue administration at Bevco retailers, and bypassed public sector entities like C-DIT and National Informatics Centre.

Gold smuggling case, July 5, 2020: 
The sensational gold smuggling case got here to gentle on July 5 final yr after customs seized 30kg of the yellow metallic from a diplomatic consignment addressed to the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram. Since then, 20 folks have been named within the chargesheet and booked below Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. More than amount of the gold, it was the connection of accused Swapna Suresh with prime bureaucrats and political leaders that created an enormous political storm in Kerala. Former principal secretary to the CM was arrested within the case.

CPM-CPI confrontations

CPM and CPI management had been at loggerheads over the suicide of Jishnu Pranoy, a first-year engineering scholar belonging to Palakkad on January 6, 2017. 

In January 2017, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran criticised Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the style through which data of particulars concerning politics of violence in Kannur weren’t made obtainable below RTI Act.

NIA’s arrest of Alan Shuhaib and Thwaha Fasal on November 1, 2019, didn’t go down properly with CPI. 
Custodial deaths of Sreejith, 26, of Varapuzha on April 9, 2018, and Raj Kumar, 49, of Nedumkandam on June 21, 2019, noticed a conflict of phrases between the LDF allies. 

CPI state council condemned the November 3, 2020, killing of Maoist Velmurugan by Thunderbolt commandos in Wayanad.

Civic physique elections, December 16, 2020
LDF, which confronted a drubbing within the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, made a comeback within the civic physique elections the nest yr, profitable in additional than half of the state’s grama panchayats, two-thirds of the district panchayats and 4 out of six companies.

Service and welfare pensions, Jan 2021
As per the eleventh Kerala Pay Revision Commission, minimal fundamental pension was elevated to D11, 500 and most to D83, 400. The minimal fundamental household pension was elevated to D11,500 and most to D50,400. Welfare pension was raised to D1,600 from D1,500 earlier.

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