On expected lines, the no-confidence motion moved by the Congress-led UDF was defeated easily by the Pinarayi Vijayan government in Kerala, but all the corruption issues raised by the opposition were sidestepped by the Chief Minister in a nearly four-hour long speech, where he read out the progress card of his government.
The no-confidence motion was moved by senior Congress leader V.D. Sateeshan.
When the motion was put to vote after almost 10 hours of debate, the opposition could secure only 40 votes, while the treasury bench managed 87 votes.
Those who spoke from the opposition highlighted all the corruption cases that have been in the news for the past few months, including the Sprinklr data scam, the gold smuggling case, corruption in the Life Mission project and the protocol violation of State Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel.
But while replying to the motion, Vijayan read out his government’s achievements similar to that of a progress report and on numerous occasions the opposition members expressed their ire as they waited for the CM’s response on the various corruption cases.
Vijayan gave a clean chit to Jaleel and said that he had done no wrong.
“It was the UAE Consulate which contacted Jaleel and gave food kits and the holy Quran, which he distributed. He has done no wrong at all,” said Vijayan.
The opposition members lost their cool after three hours and with Vijayan continuing to ignore all the grave corruption issues, they trooped into the well of the House and started to raise slogans.
After sitting down for few minutes amid the din, Vijayan slammed the Congress and the BJP for joining hands against his government.
“Now one doesn’t know if the Congress is the B team of the BJP or vice-versa. Everyone knows that they are hand in glove and the BJP state president is spreading canards against the government. All the allegations are baseless and the people of Kerala know us and we also know the people. Likewise, the people also know the present opposition,” said Vijayan.
Like on a few earlier occasions, Vijayan again raked up the solar scam which took place during the Oommen Chandy government, where a conwoman, Saritha Nair, used a few staff of Chandy to cheat investors promising them solar panels.
“We all saw the shameful incident of a Chief Minister (Chandy) sitting before a judicial commission. Such a thing had never happened before in Kerala. Also, everyone knows how Nira Radia was making Cabinet ministers in the UPA government. We are not like them,” said Vijayan.
Earlier, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said that contrary to the previous Left governments, where the CPI-M always had an iron grip on the government, this time the CPI-M state secretary has turned out to be a mere onlooker.
“Vijayan has turned into an autocrat and not even a single minister has the guts to speak against him. Even though he controls everything, he has no clue of what’s happening in his office. But people know everything,” said Chennithala.
Later while speaking to the media after the motion was defeated, Chennithala said this was the 16th no-confidence motion moved in the Assembly and Vijayan has run away without even answering the basic issues raised by the opposition.
“No Chief Minister in the past ran away like this. We raised eight specific corruption allegations and surprisingly, he failed to answer any of them. It was most surprising that when Vijayan spoke against Emergency, Congress and such things, he did not speak a word against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This clearly shows the relationship between the BJP and Vijayan. Technically we have lost the motion, but the people of Kerala now know everything and we will continue our protest against the most corrupt government in Kerala,” said Chennithala.