Congress intensifies criticism of Kerala CM over foreign tour

The Congress on Wednesday stepped up its criticism of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over his trip abroad, by seeking to know whether the CM's absence was a deliberate strategy to avoid campaigning against the BJP amid the ongoing Lok Sabha polls in the country.
Kerala CM P Vijayan and Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan
Kerala CM P Vijayan and Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan

Thiruvananthapuram | The Congress on Wednesday stepped up its criticism of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over his trip abroad, by seeking to know whether the CM's absence was a deliberate strategy to avoid campaigning against the BJP amid the ongoing Lok Sabha polls in the country.

The grand-old party said it was not opposed to the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues visiting foreign countries but wanted those holding constitutional posts to ensure transparency in whatever they do.

The Congress also asked why the CM and his party members kept the details of the trip a secret.

In a hard-hitting statement, Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan questioned who takes policy decisions in the absence of CM Vijayan.

"Why didn't he hand over his charge to anyone in the cabinet? Is there no one in the cabinet he can entrust his responsibilities to?" Satheesan asked.

The LoP further claimed that Kerala was going through an unprecedented crisis due to various issues ranging from heat waves, the Kallakadal (sudden sea swells) phenomenon, and so on.

He charged that the cabinet meeting was not convened even when urgent decisions have to be taken on issues that directly affected the people.

The Congress leader criticised the Marxist veteran for travelling abroad at a time when the crucial Lok Sabha polls were progressing in the country.

"After the election concluded in the state, CPI (M)' s lone Chief Minister went abroad. Vijayan, who is also a polit bureau member, did not go to West Bengal or Tripura for campaigning," he noted.

Taking a dig at Vijayan, Satheesan wondered whether he skipped the campaigning as he was scared of the BJP.

"Has he gone abroad because of this? The CPI(M)'s national leadership should clarify their stand on this." Vijayan and his family embarked on an over two-week long trip to various foreign destinations from the international airport in Kochi on Monday.

His surprise foreign tour has sparked a political storm in the state with the BJP and the Congress raising questions about the expenses and its timing.

The opposition parties have urged Vijayan to disclose details of his sponsor for the international tour and his source of income.

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