After the fall, its tough times ahead for Chandy

via published on February 6, 2006

Pioneer News Service/ Thiruvananthapuram

The slip in Davos could not have been more ill-timed for Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who had lined up a number of mega projects to be inaugurated in the coming days.

The projects are supposed to give solace to the UDF Government whose rating has gone down considerably in the recent past. More than that, the ‘Fast and Forward’ Chief Minister is losing precious time, as he has to face the general elections in about 100 days

The signing of the agreement with the Dubai Internet City for the Smart City project in Kochi, the launch of the Dream City project in Kozhikode and the launching of the Rs 4,360-crore Vizhinjam International Container Transshipment Terminal are some of the major projects lined up.

Mr Chandy, who will miss the major chunk of the Assembly session, could not attend the inauguration of IT Kerala event at Kochi.

Though he could achieve some mileage by taking a stop-gap decision on the issue of reservations for minority communities before his trip to Davos, Mr Chandy has a fleet of issues, that had severely affected the image of his government, to be sorted out. The most recent being serious corruption charges against three Ministers by the Lok Ayukta.

The indefinite strike call by the State Government employees could hamper the activities of the Government, which is at the fag end of its tenure.

Caught in policy norms, most of the projects and strategies are yet to take off. The much hyped Vision 2010 programme, which was mooted by Mr Chandy himself has to be streamlined before he relinquishes his office. Fund crunch is a daunting task ahead for Mr Chandy as the State is already in a debt trap.

Managing the public debt of around Rs 51,000 crore and tackling the effect of the K Karunakaran-led Democratic Indira Congress in the elections, remain the tougher tasks ahead for Mr Chandy. But will Mr Chandy win loads of sympathy due to the fall in Davos, given the fact that he is known to be a workaholic who travels almost all his waking hours, has to be wait and watch.


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