Pinarayi faces crucial test of statecraft
In My View

Pinarayi faces crucial test of statecraft

P.C. Punnen

If there is a will, there is a way the saying goes. The Chief Minister of Kerala should know it. This is a heavy test for him. In this test the path counts for zilch. The present test is more important. If he wins he will be a Keralite who stood the test of time and won. Half-hearted measures won't do. Kerala has overcome a major problem recently.

The people of Kerala stood by their own people who suffered a heavy blow caused by their own misdeeds or illegal steps taken in land grabbing by the support of their churches without knowing what outcome it will bring. He will need the opposition’s support, he will need the people's support, he will need the media's whole-hearted backing. It is doubtful to say the least. He will have the support of minister Ramachandran and others. But that counts for zilch.

Last month Pinarai Vijayan met PM Narendra Modi and gave the state's account of what it lost. The state of Kerala suffered a loss of 30,000 crores. The PM gave a patient hearing, it was reported. That brings us to questions not sufficiently or even casually clear. We are 3.24 crore people. How much have we contributed to the help of those Malayalees who suffered heavily?

The government has decided to raise 1500 crore as loans from the World Bank, private agencies and domestic financial agencies. It will, one can be sure raise some amount from the public in our next budget. We should even cut the staff strength of our ministries. But they are all silly matters we can easily do. We have to ensure for the next generation that there is some restrictions on the lands that we can have. This is the main issue. Illicit land-grabbing in forests and near our rivers have to be stopped. Tall order that. That is where politics takes place.

The CPM government is no better than the Congress government or the government which will have the solid support of the Kerala Congress which has Christian churches backing. In this crucial issue the CPM government has done nothing which bodes ill for the next generation.

The BJP , too, is of the same standard.Trying for assembly seats it wooed the Kerala Congress . But the Kerala Congress after leaving the Congress-led front stayed 'aloof' bargaining for more seats for the party and more land grabbing chances for its workers. This is the situation Kerala has to deal with. The CM seems to be confused over how the situation can be handled. He has minister Ramachandran as the key negotiator. That is a very bad sign of things we are in for.

The government has to take a stand that it won't permit any encroachment. The encroacher could be a CPM, CPI, Congress or Kerala Congress man. This may sound a good and thoughtful step but the party workers most probably won't support it. If the state committee and the CM stick to their stand it will work. Pinarayi and Kodiyeri together can triumph but will they?

It would be a turn in the right direction for the next generation which will be grateful to the party and destructive to the Kerala Congress.

The CPM has one bad policy which is to support the KM Mani led party forgetting the fact that they had caused a heavy and disgraceful protest in the Kerala assembly. The party tried to bring KM Mani to its side proving that in politics there are no permanent enemies and no permanent friends.

In this shameful politics the Congress can claim to be the father. In 1957 when EMS was the chief minister, the Muslim League was an untouchable. After the dismissal of the EMS government the Congress and the Muslim League joined hands. That could have been the beginning of Kerala’s most awkward and shameless politics, which KM Mani is practising, which  Pillai has practised since his very birth.

As things stand the Gadgil Committee  has been rejected, the Kasturi Rangan report which cuts short the Gadgil report and Cyriac's view on the issue , all before the central government's table. They will create a problem Kerala has not seen since its birth. All the three have been studied and within 2 months a decision will be taken. The Gadgil and Kasturi Rangan reports bid ill for the Kerala Congress.

( The ideas expressed in the article are of the author. )