Friday 3 January 2020 6:22 AM UTC
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Jan 3: The Congress in Kerala has been caught in a dilemma as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a tactical move, tweeted the letter of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi lauding the Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS).
The letter was sent as a message to the Kerala Calling magazine published by Kerala government for the Loka Kerala Sabha meet being held on Jan 2 and 3. This comes even as the Congress-led Opposition in Kerala boycotted the event for not keeping up the promises in the first edition.
The event, which is a platform for Keralites living around the globe to come together, is hosted by the Kerala government, once in two years.
The second edition of the event began in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday, January 1.
Pinarayi Vijayan addressed the delegate meeting of LKS on Thursday prior to which he tweeted the letter of Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi. He Tweeted: “Thank you Shri. Rahul Gandhi for your warm greetings to the Loka Kerala Sabha (@LokaKeralaSabha).
In his message, @RahulGandhi opined that “the Loka Kerala Sabha is a great platform to connect with the diaspora, and recognize their contribution.”
However, Congress has accused Pinarayi of creating a controversy, with Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala saying that the letter was sent on December 12 while the Congress-led opposition UDF decided to keep away from the LKS on December 20, Chennithala said.
Rahul Gandhi’s letter to the CM said, “I congratulate the members of the Malayalee diaspora for their phenomenal success, and for being worthy ambassadors of the State. The Loka Kerala Sabha is a great platform to connect with the diaspora and recognise their contribution,” Rahul’s message reads.
“Malayalees have played an instrumental role in the nation building efforts of many countries and cemented the community’s reputation for its dedication and determination. Successive generations have excelled in various fields and paved way for a better future for lakhs of others.
While Malayalees are widely celebrated for their cosmopolitan outlook, it is heartening to see them remaining firmly rooted in their local communities.
The sheer number of initiatives spearheaded by Pravasi (non-resident) Malayalees in Kerala, stand testament to their commitment to give back to their home country.
As the torchbearers of the glorious heritage and culture of this State, I hope that the diaspora continues to excel in all their endeavours,” it further reads.
However, Ramesh Chennithala further accused Pinarayi of distorting the intentions of Rahul Gandhi’s message.
The letter talks about the contributions of Non-Resident Keralites and it’s not fair, turning it into a controversy. By doing this, the CM has exploited the decency of Rahul Gandhi which is objectionable, Chennithala said.
“The UDF unanimously took the decision to boycott Loka Kerala Sabha. There is nothing wrong in the decision to boycott Loka Kerala Sabha. It’s not mandatory to inform either the All India Congress Committee (AICC) or the central unit of the party on such decisions which a state unit can decide on,” Chennithala told media.
He reiterated that the event is an extravaganza and that the Opposition won’t step back from its stand against it.
AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal also said that there is no need to drag Rahul Gandhi into a controversy. The Opposition members had resigned from LKS protesting against the suicide of a former NRK person Sajan, allegedly because the license was not granted for his venture in the state.
Mr Arif Mohammad Khan, Governor, Kerala while inaugurating the second Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) at Kanakakkunnu Palace grounds in Thiruvananthapuram said that the Non-Resident Keralites (NoRKs) played a vital role in bringing Kerala in the top position of Sustainable Development Goals of Niti AAyog’s SDG Index.
He also said that he is truly proud to point out that the first Loka Kerala Sabha that saw the participation of around 500 delegates from 27 countries formed 7 Standing committees that suggested proper recommendations to the government.
The huge success of the second LKS shows that the measures taken by the government considering those recommendations have benefitted the expatriates. He also said that LKS ensures the participation of expatriates in the developmental process of the State.
Loka Kerala Sabha would continue to work out a lasting mechanism to help the State Government make relevant suggestions to the Government of India in matters related to the legal, professional and human rights issues faced by expatriates so that the Ministry of External Affairs could make more effective interventions said the Governor.
Mr Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala presided over the function. Speaking on the occasion, Mr P. Sreeramakrishnan, Speaker said that with the formation Loka Kerala Sabha, the objectives of the LKS went beyond being an investors’ meet and Kerala became a model to the world.
He also added that, this platform enabled NoKRs from across the world to come together and share their unique experiences.
Mr E. Chandrasekharan, Minister for Revenue and Housing, Mr K. Krishnankutty, Minister for Water Resources, Mr Ramachandran Kadannappally, Minister for Ports, Museums, Archaeology and Archives, Mr A. K. Saseendran, Minister for Transport, Mr Tom Jose, Chief Secretary, Mr M.A Yusaf Ali, Mr Ravi Pilla, Dr M. Anirudh, Mr Asad Mooppan, Ms Methil Renuka, Mr K. Sreekumar, Mayor, Mr V.K. Prasanth, MLA, Dr Elangovan, Principal Secretary, NORKA and Mr K.G. Balakrishnan retired Judge attended the meeting.
The meeting was followed by programmes coordinated by Asha Sharat and Soorya Krishnamoorthy.
Pinarayi while delivering the presidential address at Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) said that the LKS will hold discussions to ensure the welfare and quality of life of Non-Resident Keralites (NoRKs).
He also added that the Sabha will be a venue for comprehensive discussions regarding the problems faced by expatriates, their startups, dividend bond, Pravasi remittance, Pravasi Chitti, etc.
The Minister said that it is good to discuss a draft bill on Loka Kerala Sabha and also reminded that the State Assembly has all the power to accept, improve, add or change the discussed bill.
Loka Kerala Sabha is a platform that unites Malayalis around the world. The expatriates’ have a clear vision of the future of Kerala. And this event has become a platform to share their vision. Now we can see a quality transformation in the correlation of expats and Kerala society.
The Government of Kerala provides them with aid for financial investments in any fields that they prefer. They will also have the rights to evaluate the progress of these projects and can take part in the developmental process of Kerala said, the Chief Minister.
A forum like Loka Kerala Sabha is inevitable in ensuring that the contributions and potential of the NoRK community is utilized for the development of the state.
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