Intro: Due to Maoist threat in the jungles of Wynadu in North Kerala and with successive LEFT regimes usurping tribal lands and exploiting people, many have now adopted Maoism. If not chequered, Kerala may become another Sukma.
The Gordian knot which the Congress led UDF has tied on itself, on the liquor bar closure, refuses to unknot and is posing to be a death knot around its neck. The State Congress President VM Sudheeran wanted closure of about 450 substandard bars, but to outbeat him, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy took decision to close another 350, three and four star bars. With Kerala being the most wet State in the country, having 3% of national population and guzzling almost 20% of liquor production, the bar owners panicked. Apart from legal remedy, they collected Rs 20 crore for paying to UDF, for reversal of decision. They have alleged that Finance Minister KM Mani demanded five crore and he was paid an advance of Rs one crore. There are reports that crores were also paid to Congress leaders.
Owing to public and Court pressure, the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau have registered FIR against Mani. Chandy and Ramesh, the Home Minister tried to save Mani, but the threat of V&ACB Chief Vinson. M Paul and his team to take en-masse leave, if they were disallowed, proved fatal for Mani. The UDF is on a 6 vote majority and Mani has 9 MLAs with him. There are reports that Mani has collected almost Rs.100 crore for favours done to gold dealers, real-estate Mafia, traders and bakery chains. He had also given traders and industries, huge reliefs, on Turnover Tax in the 2014 Kerala Budget. He has also put on cold-storage Rs 30,000 crore of sales tax dues from Trade and Commerce Sectors.
Corruption charges do not end with Mani alone. Almost six ministers including CM Oommen Chandy are facing vigilance probe, including in the multi-crore solar scam.
The UDF faced another bomb attack when former Minister and UDF MLA, KB Ganeshkumar charged on the Assembly, that the personal staff of PWD Minister Ibrahimkutty of Muslim League were steeped in graft and were demanding crores for work allotment and transfers. For quite some time, reports have come of Ibrahimkutty and his office minting crores for the Muslim League. But the communal agenda of the League is still in vogue with roads to Shabarimala in pitiable condition. Recently PWD Secretary Sooraj was suspended after V&ACB raids unearthed cash, gold, deposits and real estate worth several crores. Sooraj has for long displayed his communal venom. As Kozhikode Collector he opened the sealed Marad Mosque for then Union Minister E. Ahmed to offer namaz. The Marad Mosque was sealed, because the weapons used for butchery of eight Hindu Fishermen, were found there in 2002. The Opposition Left is mired in infighting. With the Crime Branch registering case against 5 CPM/DYFI cadres for torching the ‘Krishna Pillai’ Memorial and defacing his statue, the Pinaryi Vijayan – VS Atchudanandan war has intensified. Krishna Pillai, a Communist veteran of the 1940s, was their founding father in South Kerala. While Pinarayi has taken action against the five, V.S. says they are innocent. Shocked at destruction of the veteran’s memorial, due to CPM group war, hundreds of CPM men in Alleppey have decided to Join BJP.
Small brother CPI, is still to recover from the shock of the ‘Payment seat’ controversy in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha candidature. They had given the seat to a Latin Catholic Bennet Abraham and allegation have come of CPI collecting Rs 1.86 crore, for allotting the seat. Now ‘Lok Ayukta’ has registered case against CPI and two top leaders have quit CPI and accused State Secretary for the graft.
With the ruling front immersed in graft and the Left unable to question it, due to infighting, anarchy and lawlessness is prevailing in the State. Robberies, murders and rapes are the order of the day. Even three year old babies and 80 year old grannies are not spared. A month back, BJP workers had protested outside a high-end restaurant in Kozhikode, which allowed youths to freak-out and indulge in Kissing. To protest against this, ‘Kiss of Love’ has cropped-up in many cities of Kerala, with youth kissing in public.
Added to this is the Maoist threat in the jungles of Wynadu in North Kerala. With successive LDF & UDF regimes usurping tribal lands and exploiting Vanavasis, they have now turned to Maoism. Unless checked, Kerala may become another ‘SUKMA’. But unmindful of this, the Congress and Left are into their favourite game. As PM Modi said, It is Gusti in Kerala and Dosti in Delhi!
—S Chandrasekhar from Thiruvananthapuram