Kerala Cabinet-on-wheels: Pinarayi Vijayan-led state wide yatra to roll from Saturday

Thiruvananthapuram: In a first, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet will, on Saturday, embark on a statewide tour in a bid to meet the people and address their grievances.

The trip that starts from Manjeswaram, the northern tip of the state, is scheduled to end on December 24 in the state capital.

Not to give the weekly-cabinet meetings a miss, the ministers will meet every Wednesday while traversing through 140 Assembly constituencies.

However, the initiative has come under intense criticism from the Congress-led UDF and the BJP who have termed the travel in Benz luxury coach an “extravagance”, when the state’s coffers are virtually empty.

Taking a dig at the yatra ‘Nava Kerala Sadasu’ (a trip aimed to take Kerala to new realms after calling on people directly), UDF convenor M.M.Hassan dubbed it ‘Dhuritha Kerala Sadasu’ (a pleasure trip when people are going through the worst times).

“Earlier this month, we witnessed a Rs 27 crore cultural jamboree and now this yatra is going to cost a whopping Rs 100 crore. What’s the need for it, when the burning issues of the people are not addressed as the pension for the weakest of weak have not been paid for the past four months. It is nothing but a political gimmick with an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha polls,” said Hassan.

According to the organizers of the trip, the ministers will interact with people of at least four constituencies a day. Seven counters will be set up in every constituency where people can register their grievances.

The day will start with a breakfast meeting with an invited group of people in every constituency. The officials are bound to resolve the issues in a matter of two weeks to 45 days depending on its gravity.

Manjeswaram legislator- AKM Ashraf of the opposition IUML called it nothing but cheating the people. “I as a legislator have raised numerous issues being faced in my constituency and have been running from pillar to post and so is the case with other legislators and nothing has happened and now here comes a trip like this. This is done to fool and cheat people,” said Ashraf.

State Tourism Minister P.A.Mohammed Riyas flayed the Opposition for its stance. “This type of reaching out to the people by the entire cabinet has never happened and the Opposition is committing a historic blunder if they will boycott this as issues of the people are being taken up and discussed, There is nothing political in it,” asserted Riyas, who is the son-in-law of Chief Minister Vijayan.

Indo-Asian News Service or IANS is a private Indian news agency. It was founded in 1986 by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the \"India Abroad News Service\" and later renamed. The service reports news, views and analysis from the subcontinent about the country, across a wide range of subjects.

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