The quitting of P.W.D. Minister P.J. Joseph on September 4, owing to his indictment in a molestation case, is the first nail in the 100-day odd old CPM regime'scoffin and an Onam gift?especially to women of Kerala.
The minister who misbehaved with a woman passenger on board the Kingfisher airlines from Madras-Kochi on August 3 was resisting demands of quitting. A section of the CPM owing allegiance to state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan were on the sly backing P.J. Joseph. But the Chief Minister, V.S. Atchudanandan, who had taken a very strong moral ground during his tenure as opposition leader during 2001-2006, against the sex scandals rocking the State like Kililoor, Kavioor, scandal involving Muslim League leader Kunjalikutty etc. could not close his eyes when a sex scandal involving his minister was going the rounds. Opposing the Home Minister and Pinarayi'smoves to bail out Joseph, he ordered an enquiry by a woman I.G., B. Sandhya. The no-nonsense I.G. conducted detailed investigations and pointed a finger of suspicion at the minister. Despite this Joseph tried to hold on with Pinarayi'sand Kodiyeri'sbacking. But public response was dead against that, Joseph had no option but to quit.
Even after 100 + days in power the V.S. led regime has not been able to achieve anything due to serious infighting between the Pinarayi and V.S. groups and among the LDF constituents. Right from day one Joseph was in the eye of the storm due to his involvement in the allotment of funds to floriculture societies, the Rs 850 crore Maithri housing scheme for weaker sections and massive corruptions running into crores in plus two schools allotment during his earlier tenure of ministership in the 1996-2001 LDF regime.
The Self Financing Act ploted by Education Minister M.A. Baby to browbeat minority professional institutions has backfired with the Supreme Court, backing the minority institutions. Moreover, this has created a wedge between CPM and the minorities who had whole heartedly supported it during the assembly polls.
During the past 100 days almost 20 persons have died in police custody despite V.S. ordering judicial probe against custody deaths.
The public debt of the State is almost Rs. 60,000 crore and no effort is being made to develop agricultural, industrial production or revive the traditional industries like coir and handloom.
The LDF regime with many ministers who are first time MLAs are grouping in the dark and at the crossroads, with no idea where to go or how to move. The stand-off between V.S. and Pinarayi and open criticisms especially of Veliyam Bhargavan of the CPI and T.J. Chandrachoodan of the RSP, have given poor public ratings to the LDF.
The basic fact which the CPM should understand is, it does not know how to rule. The CPM may be good in organising violent agitations, tall talks, murderous attacks against oppositing forces, bullying etc. But when it comes to governance?it is a big zero.