Palakkad (Kerala) | The Opposition Congress on Wednesday criticised the CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala for the tragic death of a handicapped man, alleging that he took his own life after not receiving his disability pension for several months.
Terming Tuesday's suicide of the differently-abled man, hailing from Chakkittapara in Kozhikode, as "pathetic", the Leader of Opposition in the assembly V D Satheesan alleged that lakhs of people in the southern state were suffering without getting their social security pension and other benefits.
People were finding it difficult to buy even their essential medicines and lead a dignified life in the state, he told reporters in Palakkad.
Seventy-seven-year-old Joseph had reportedly given a letter to the local panchayat stating that if he did not receive his disability pension, he would kill himself. He was found dead on Tuesday, police said.
"The arrogance of power and mismanagement are the hallmarks of the Pinarayi Vijayan government," the LoP alleged.
He also pointed out the recent example of an elderly woman hailing from Idukki, who had come out with a begging bowl on the streets as a mark of protest against the non-receipt of social security pension.
Just as the cyber campaigners of the ruling CPI(M) had attacked and bullied her for protesting against the government, they were now trying to target Joseph after his death, Satheesan further charged.
Kerala is heading towards a "dangerous situation" as all development activities and social welfare projects have come to a standstill, he said, adding that four paddy farmers had died by suicide in the state in recent times.
Good governance is replaced by maladministration in Kerala, which is the reason for suicides in the state, the LoP added.
The tragic end of Joseph has triggered a row in the state.
He has a daughter who is also disabled, a former member of the Chakkittapara panchayat said.
The panchayat reportedly claimed that it cannot be said that the man took the extreme step due to non-receipt of a disability pension.
Meanwhile, police said that they have registered an FIR in connection with the incident and an investigation has been launched.