State, Central packages, a fraud on people: Kerala Congress

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress in Kerala on Monday termed the twin packages announced by the State and the Centre are nothing but a fraud on the people.

Speaking to the media here, Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala said when the central package (Rs 20 lakh crore) is in the form of loans and selling off public enterprises, Kerala has announced a package (Rs 20,000 crore) to clear the outstanding payments.

“The need of the hour is what Rahul Gandhi had suggested in the election manifesto of handing people liquid cash of Rs 6000 to the poor and the needy. It’s been 56 days since the lockdown began and the state and the centre should immediately think of giving money through direct benefit transfer and that would be a great boon,” said Chennithala, adding that Kerala had announced Rs 1000, but it’s yet to reach all.

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Chennithala also slammed the Pinarayi Vijayan government for not taking any steps to bring a single Keralite stuck abroad or within the country to the state.

“We never ever asked any person stuck outside to be brought to the state without a proper entry pass. Vijayan has not made any effort to get our people back. Gandhi has made steps to get back Keralites from Punjab and Rajasthan on trains. Karnataka Congress party arranged free buses to Kerala,” said Chennithala.

Chennithala pointed out that the trains and aircraft that bring in Keralites are charging hefty fares.

“The electricity charges that are now coming are so high. Normal life in our state has been affected very badly and the state government is not doing anything. A lot of hype was raised about community kitchens and what we now hear is most of them have been closed. So is the case with the ‘people’s hotels,” added Chennithala.

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Chennithala also slammed the decision taken by the Vijayan government to sell liquor bottles through bars, which is a first in the state.

“With this new decision, which is a corrupt deal between the CPI-M and the bar owners, the State is going to lose 20 per cent commission on sales that the state owned liquor vends (301) used to get. Now this will go to these bar owners resulting in loss to the state exchequer,” said Chennithala.

The Congress party will submit a detailed list of its recommendations to the Vijayan government on how things can be restructured.

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