Kerala celebrates 67th formation day as Oppn boycotts
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 1 : A protest march by BJP councillors of the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation and boycott by the Congress-led UDF marked Kerala's 67th formation day celebrations here on Wednesday.
What caught the media's attention was the absence of Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who was reportedly not invited for the event.
Sixty-seven years ago on this day, the state Kerala had come into being.
Apparently, Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan have been at loggerheads for a past sometime which worsened after the former refused to sign on a dozen of crucials bills and the CM preparing to take a legal recourse.
Hence, with the upper echelons of power not on talking terms, it was only natural that Khan was not invited.
Slamming to the formation day celebrations, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) V.D.Satheesan this morning termed the Keralayeem (the week-long celebrations in the state capital city) that was kicked off by Vijayan, "smacked with arrogance and extravagance" and a challenge for the people who are finding life at cross roads due to the misgovernance of the ruling party.
"This extravagance is happening at a time when the state is in dire need of Rs 50,000 crore and there is no money to even support the noon meal programme in schools. As this jamboree takes place, we will go to the people and expose the misgovernance of Vijayan," he said,adding that around Rs 27 crore is being spent on the celebrations.
But for Vijayan, he arrived with his family 30 minutes prior to the event and was seen moving around the venue meeting, greeting and welcoming guests which included three superstars Kamalahasan, Mammootty and Mohanlal.
Also among the guests was popular actress and danseuse Shobana, all seated in the front row beside Vijayan.
Other leading icons like business magnates M.K.Yusuf Ali, Ravi Pillai were also spotted on the stage, besides the entire cabinet ministers.
While inaugurating the cultural event, Vijayan said we are all proud to be Keralaites and we have our own standards that we have set and which has to be taken forward.
"We have proved we are behind none cutting across sectors and we are in front through our achievements in various indicators. We have set a model and using this we will go forward. This Keralayeem will now be an annual event and will be on the lines of events in Europe which is basically one to promote the city where it's being held in multiple ways, similar to the Davos Economic Forum," the Chief Minister added.
The week-long event will see over 4,000 artistes taking part in a cultural blitz. As many as 25 international seminars would also be organised with leading experts from India and abroad.
Besides, there would be 10 exhibitions showcasing the achievements of Kerala with the help of modern technology.