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Kerala Governor skips anti-Centre comments

IANS | New Delhi |

Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam on Monday skipped references critical of the Modi government from his prepared speech as he addressed the Assembly on the opening day of the Budget session.

After the Governor’s 89-minute speech ended and its copies were distributed, it was found that he had skipped three sentences that pertained to the Modi government.

He otherwise heaped praise on the Pinarayi Vijayan government.

However, the Congress-led-opposition slammed the government for its abject failure on all fronts.

As soon as Sathasivam got up to deliver his address, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala stood up and said he wished to speak and pointed out that the Vijayan government had been a “dismal failure”.

“The government has been an abject failure in all respects, including tackling of the law and order situation, price rise and the way Cyclone Ockhi was handled,” said Chennithala.

After Chennithala sat down, Sathasivam began his speech and said that during the past year there have been several campaigns against Kerala, particularly on the social and conventional media.

“Despite being a state with some of the best law and order indices in the country, a month-long campaign was carried out across India, on certain flimsy grounds by some communal outfits.

“Keralites en masse responded to this campaign featuring the hashtags,” he said.

The Governor pointed out that Kerala was declared by the UN as the only state in the country which figures at the top of the Human Development Index.

He noted that during the past one year, there have been slanderous attacks on the secular traditions of the state.

“Doubts were thrown on our social sector achievements and vilification of the law and order situation from various quarters. But the people of Kerala stood together to defend our traditions and achievements.

“There has not been any instance of communal riot in our state despite the plotting by certain communal outfits.”

On the initiatives taken for the welfare of the Kerala diaspora, he said his government had set up a 351-member ‘Loka Kerala Sabha’ with NRK (Non-resident Keralite) delegates and special invitees along with MPs and MLAs.

“The government is committed to support NRKs in a variety of ways, including awareness campaigns for safe migration, pre-departure orientation programmes, skill upgrade programmes and assistance to stranded people.

“Rehabilitation of returnees and reintegration training are some of the other proposed initiatives in this area.

“My government is also committed to harness the goodwill and financial capabilities of expatriates in the process of modernisation and further development of Kerala,” he said.

The budget for the new fiscal would be presented by Finance Minister Thomas Issac on February 2.