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Discussion on no-trust motion begins

Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A three-day discussion on the Left Democratic Front-sponsored no-confidence motion began in the State Assembly on Tuesday morning with the Opposition accusing the Oommen Chandy Government of all-round failure and questioning its moral right to continue in office.

With Chief Minister Oommen Chandy expressing the Government's readiness to have the debate immediately, the discussion on the no-trust motion tabled by Kodiyeri Balakrishnan (CPI-M) got under way within minutes of Speaker Therambil Ramakrishnan mentioning it during zero hour. In a significant departure from tradition, the Speaker also allowed live telecast of the debate.

Initiating the debate, Mr. Balakrishnan said the Opposition had decided to table the no-confidence motion for 13 reasons including the Government's loss of public confidence as evidenced by the Koothuparamba and Azhikode byelections and the heavy erosion in ranks that the UDF had suffered over the last few months.

The Oommen Chandy Government, he said, had only a technical majority in the House and its rule had resulted in political instability in the State. Although it had come to power with the support of 99 MLAs, its support base had fallen to 85 in the Assembly.

The Government's actions showed that it had no collective responsibility and Ministers were behaving as they pleased. Despite having come to power with a White Paper on State finances, it had failed to implement the recommendations contained in it. Corruption was so rampant that this had become the most corrupt Government in the State's history. The policy of liberalisation pursued by the Government in the industrial, agricultural and educational sectors had caused harm to 90 per cent of the population. There was no security for the life and property of the people and no protection for the minorities in the State. Price rise had made life miserable for a majority of the people and the Government had failed to keep its election promise to create 15 lakh new jobs.

The State's development was at a standstill and even funds collected to provide relief to the tsunami victims had been diverted for other purposes, Mr. Balakrishnan said.

He challenged the Government to seek a fresh mandate

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