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May 22, 2018, 7:32 pm IST
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Pinarayi's writ does not run in state cabinet

Pinarayi's writ does not run in state cabinet

Hari Kartha, Feb 12, 2018

There is no reason why Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should be happy. He is perhaps the first ever Chief Minister, not only in Kerala but also in the country whose writ does not run among his cabinet colleagues. The pitiable plight of the Kerala Chief Minister is being confirmed as days pass by, thanks to the behaviour of the members of the LDF cabinet.

The special cabinet meeting convened by the Chief Minister, last week evoked poor response from his cabinet comrades. The special meeting was summoned with in order to consider certain important ordinances already promulgated by the government when the state assembly was not in session. Now that the assembly had commenced its budget session, either there should be legislation in regard to these ordinances or there should be extension of their time limit. But most ministers seemed to have not realised the seriousness of the special cabinet meeting and therefore they simply kept off. Twelve ministers failed to attend the cabinet meeting and so for want of quorum, the Chief Minister had no option other than to call of the meeting.

This was significantly the first time in the cabinet history of the state that a meeting convened by the Chief Minister was forced to be cancelled as adequate number of ministers did not turn up. Therefore it came up for criticism from different quarters. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala commented on the unprecedented development, "if punching is enforced for ministers, only a very few among them would be eligible for salaries."

BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said that ministers not attending cabinet meeting exposed the lack of collective responsibility of the cabinet and also the poor governance in the state.

As Friday's special cabinet meeting did not take place, yet another meeting was convened on Monday on the very same agenda. However this time the meeting took place with no hitch whatsoever and carried out business as decided. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had a word of advice for his cabinet colleagues. His plea was that the ministers should be available in the state capital at least for five days in a week. The Chief Minister's plea was in the wake of his bitter experience of being forced to postpone a cabinet meeting for want of quorum. He had made the same plea to his cabinet colleagues when his ministry was sworn in eighteen months back. Obviously the Chief Minister's plea fell on deaf ears.

The unkindest cut was when on Monday, responding negatively to the Chief Minister's repeated plea to be available in the state capital for five days minimum,many of the ministers informed Pinarayi Vijayan that this was not practical as cabinet members would have to be on tour all over the state on official engagements. There has been no comment from the Chief Minister's office to the reported firm 'no' by ministers.

Significantly at the Monday meeting of the cabinet too three ministers were conspicuously absent. Two among them are comrades of the Chief Minister's party, CPM.

In parliamentary democracy, the chief minister is supposed to be first among equals. But of late in Kerala's left democratic politics, the chief minister in effect seems to be the last among equals.

 



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