Political spat in Kerala over flaws in disaster alerts

Political parties in Kerala spar over disaster management flaws

More embarrassing to the Left Front was criticism from within over the delay in implementing various flood mitigation projects mooted in the state

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Credit: PTI Photo

As Kerala recovers from ravaging rainfall in the past week, a political spat is brewing in the state with the opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) accusing the CPM-led Left Democratic Front government of lapses in disaster alert and management systems.

More embarrassing to the Left Front was criticism from within over the delay in implementing various flood mitigation projects mooted in the state after a visit by a delegation led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to the Netherlands in 2019.

As CM Vijayan Wednesday flayed the opposition for blindly criticising the disaster management systems, opposition leader V D Satheesan Thursday stepped up the attack by stating that Vijayan was following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's line of terming those criticising the government as anti-nationals. The chief minister was being carried out by the versions of those praising him.

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Satheesan also made specific allegations over delay in rescue teams reaching the spot where landslides occured in Idukki on Saturday morning. Even as MLAs and MPs could reach the disaster spots, rescue teams couldn't. Despite back-to-back calamities, no efforts were made to improve the weather alert system, the opposition leader said.

CPM state secretary in-charge A Vijayaraghavan accused Satheesan of making personal attacks on Vijayan, despite effective steps taken by his government.

Left-front leader Cheriyan Philip stated that the Netherland's model of flood mitigation proposed by the state government had not yet happened. A delegation headed by the CM had toured the Netherlands in 2019 but no one knows about the flood mitigation project, he criticised.

Meanwhile, Philip's criticism against the Left Front was also said to be a prelude to his plans of returning to Congress camps. He had left the Congress around two decades ago.

The opposition will be stepping up the demand for a comprehensive review of the disaster alert and management systems of the state in the Assembly next week. 

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