Thiruvananthapuram | CPI(M)-led LDF opposition members in Kerala today staged a walkout from the Assembly, protesting denial of permission for an adjournment motion, seeking discussion over the spiralling price of essential commodities and the alleged collapse of state’s public distribution system.
Replying to the notice of motion, sought to be moved by former minister and CPI leader Mullakkarara Ratnakaran, Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob said the Congress-led UDF government has actively intervened in the market and initiated strong measures to contain increasing prices of essential commodities. A total of Rs 261 crore has been spent for giving subsidies and intervening in the public market in the last financial year.
As many as 143 new maveli stores, five super markets, 115 civil supplies units and 15 mobile outlets have been opened in the state, he said. Only because of the strong intervention by the government in the market have prices of essential commodities come under control in a consuming state like Kerala, he said. The Minister also blamed the frequent hike of diesel prices by the Centre for the increasing prices of essential commodities in the state.
Seeking notice for the adjournment motion, Ratnakaran said it was not the amount of money spent but the value of spending that was more important. There is no point in claiming that huge amount is spentto curtail price rise. The worthiness of spending is more important. The public distribution system has collapsed in the state and government failed to contain price rise. All traditional sectors, including plantation and fisheries are facing setbacks, he said.
In his reply, Jacob said searches would be strengthened in ration shops and civil supplies outlets to check all kinds of alleged malpractices in the sector. After the minister’s reply, the Speaker disallowed the plea for the motion, leading to the LDF members headed by opposition leader V S Achuthanandan staging walkout.
Before staging a walkout, CPI(M) veteran and state opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said the UDF government had ‘sabotaged’ the entire rationing and public distribution system of the state.
The nonagenerian leader’s corruption charges against the civil supplies minister triggered a war of words between the ruling and opposition members for some time. The minister, who was on his feet to defend himself, said all charges levelled against him were baseless.
Subscribe to our email newsletter.