[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he image of Kerala’s Chief Minister (CM) Pinarayi Vijayan as a hard and fast Communist has changed after he assumed office last month. His decisions as Chief Minister are seen as practical, though his opponents may accuse him of shifting from the party’s policy book. Vijayan’s first such policy change was the state’s decision on decades long water dispute with neighbouring Tamil Nadu on Mullaperiyar dam. Till this date, every politician in Kerala purposefully went ahead with passions and purposefully tussled with Tamil Nadu for political scores. For decades, all parties in Kerala showed shyness in sharing water with Tamil Nadu and conducting legal cases in all forums.
Vijayan simply took a practical decision on the dam which started melting the ice with Tamil Nadu leading to a settlement of legal tangles. Till date Kerala was hyping fear that anytime dam may collapse, contrary to technical findings. As Kerala’s stage fear mongering had no technical support, Tamil Nadu invariably won in all legal forums. Now after Vijayan’s stand the unnecessarily created water dispute issue is fading away.
Next was his warning to Kerala’s environment activists. He simply cautioned them against creating “environment fascism.” Obviously due to Vijayan’s complete control in CPI(M), the activists, most of whom belong to the Left are keeping quiet.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]F[/dropcap]or the past 10 years, Kerala’s activists were objecting to widening of National Highways. The NH width in national level is 45 meters and these activists forced the state to limit it to 30 meters! How can a state that has a container terminal sea port take a self-inflicting stand like this? Such is the ideological baggage of Kerala. Vijayan simply announced state’s plan to go ahead with widening of National Highways as per national standards. Kudos to the CM!
The CPI(M) led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government headed by Vijayan has given the power to Public Service Commission (PSC) on recruitment of employees in Devaswam Temples (Hindu temples controlled by Govt Board) and Wakf Board (Muslim religious bodies controlling Board). This idea, mooted as “Secular claiming Kerala” politics, giving power to PSC for recruitment in Wakf Board is a welcome step.
From 2004 onwards, Kerala state is delaying on the project called ‘Smart City’ in Kochi in collaboration with Dubai’s Internet City. This is a big software park. Vijayan resumed talks with them and announced its completion by 2021.
The main problem in Kerala is land acquisition for infrastructure projects. The government has now declared many transparent procedures to speed this up. Vijayan’s toughness is known in Kerala politics for many decades. Now he has started taking speedy decisions too. One advantage for Vijayan is that the normally mighty CPI(M) cadres were experts in organizing militant strikes and the organization is now totally under his control. So it is a “wait and watch” period on how Vijayan performs as Chief Minister in the coming days.
The only problem basically pointed out against the CPI(M) rule is the political violence. If Vijayan can rein in his cadres from acting violently against opposite party workers, that would be a big shift in Kerala’s politics.
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