Kasaragod: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the state government's public outreach programme 'Nava Kerala Sadas' at Govt. Higher Secondary School in Manjeshwar constituency's Paivalike here on Saturday. Addressing the event, CM highlighted the LDF government's contribution to infrastructure development. He pointed out that national highway development is swiftly in progress across the state.
The CM alleged that a group of people against the LDF government are trying to hide the government's developmental activities from the public.
Taking a dig at the journalists over the luxury bus controversy, the CM asked them to visit the bus and find out the luxury arrangements inside it. “You must enter the bus once we all get into it. You can assess the luxury arrangements inside it. I would like to invite the journalists to visit the bus in the presence of the public,” he said.
He criticised Congress for boycotting Nava Kerala Sadas and termed the opposition's act as anti-democratic in nature. “ Four lakh houses were constructed under the Life Mission project. We never add the government's name to these houses. Because it will hurt the sentiments of the families. We have distributed land documents to 3 lakh people; 27.5 lakh people received free medical care,” Pinarayi said while explaining the the government's major welfare programmes.
A special counter is opened at the venue to receive complaints. Hundreds of people arrived at the state-level inauguration of Nava Kerala Sadas and filed their complaints. The luxury bus carrying CM and his cabinet members reached the venue around 4 pm. The Opposition, led by Congress, boycotted the event to protest against the government's financial extravagance.
Revenue Minister K Rajan presided over the event. He criticised the allegations against the government over purchasing a luxury bus for the ministers as part of the event.
The luxury bus for the tour reached Kasaragod from Lal Bagh in Bengaluru on Saturday morning.
Nava Kerala Sadas to conclude on Dec 23
Nava Kerala Sadas, which concludes on December 23 at Vattiyoorkavu constituency in Thiruvananthapuram, involves the entire council of ministers engaging directly with the public. The Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said that during their tour of 140 assembly constituencies, the ministers will interact with people from diverse backgrounds and address their concerns.
Despite allegations from the opposition Congress labelling it a political campaign, the CMO assured a swift resolution of public complaints. The CMO said that designated counters would accept complaints three hours before the start of the Nava Kerala Sadas, adhering to displayed guidelines. To facilitate a streamlined process, separate counters will be set up for senior citizens, differently-abled individuals, and women.
Chief Minister Vijayan expressed optimism about the outreach programme, emphasising Kerala's history of inclusive and sustainable development. "Kerala is poised to make history as the #NavaKeralaSadas kicks off tomorrow at Manjeshwaram, the northernmost constituency in the state. This outreach programme, which concludes on December 23 in Thiruvananthapuram, will see the entire council of ministers visiting 140 constituencies, engaging directly with people from all walks of life," the CM said in a post on social media platform X.
The CMO outlined a system for resolving complaints promptly, with a hand receipt issued for all complaints. The status of complaints can be tracked on the website www.navakeralasadas.kerala.gov.in. District-level officials are committed to deciding on complaints within two to four weeks, the release said.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress criticised the initiative, alleging it to be a political campaign ahead of parliamentary elections. Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan and KPCC president K Sudhakaran accused the government of using taxpayers' money for a public relations exercise. Sudhakaran also accused the government of extravagance, citing the purchase of a new bus for the chief minister's yatra, which Transport Minister Antony Raju refuted, stating it was not an "ultra-luxurious" bus and would later be utilised by the tourism department.
(With PTI inputs.)