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Friday, June 9, 2023

After ‘medical treatment’, Comrade Pinarayi Vijayan arrives from US on Saturday

All eyes are on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who arrives here on Saturday morning from the US after a nearly two-week medical treatment at the prestigious Mayo Clinic.

Vijayan, though he left the country for treatment, did not hand over the charge to any and instead presided over the biweekly cabinet meetings with the aid of technology. It is to be seen whether he joins office the same day or follows the Covid protocol of a week’s quarantine at his official residence.

However, one big issue, which he will have to tackle, is tweaking the powers of the Lokayukta through an Ordinance, which was cleared at the first online cabinet meeting he presided last week from the US. Vijayan has a case against him, which is expected to come up before the Lokayukta in the first week of February.

There is another case before the ‘judicial body’, which is against State Higher Education Minister R.Bindhu.

The Congress-led UDF has attacked Vijayan over the Ordinance move. The party on Thursday met Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and briefed him on the issue and told him that the government’s move is to make the Lokayukta a toothless body.

A media critic on condition of anonymity said Vijayan’s present strategy is to stay away from the media.

“No other Chief Minister in Kerala has used the media like Vijayan. When the Covid pandemic struck, all were glued to the TV sets and after he won a second term and Kerala becoming the Covid headquarters in the country, he disappeared. And never did he make a statement when the vexed issues like the Mullaperiyar Dam, Kannur University VC re-appointment, appointment of his private secretary’s wife to a teaching post and a few other issues,” said the critic, who did not wish to be identified.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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