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After huge backlash against Kerala budget, is CPI(M) missing Isaac?

IANS | February 04, 2023 01:34 PM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the Kerala budget presented on Friday by Finance Minister K.N.Balagopal being questioned on Rs 2 cess introduced for petrol and diesel, all discussions are revolving seasoned economist-turned former Finance Minister Thomas Isaac with more than a dozen state budgets to his credits.

Isaac Thomas, who served as a finance minister during 2006-11 and 2011-16, was unexpectedly kept out after the party decided against giving seats to those who have completed three terms.

And since then, he has been keeping a low profile and was particularly hurt, last week, when a report of a study prepared by a state supported institute surfaced in a leading media.

The media report that was aired highlighted that his second tenure was not good , leaving out what was good during the tenure and what hurt him most was that report was allegedly leaked out by vested interest.

Isaac, who should have been the first to react to Balagopal's budget, is maintaining a silence, baffling many both in the party and in the opposition.

With the Congress and the BJP already out on the streets, the first signs that the CPI(M) and its allies are also unhappy with Balagopal's Rs 2 cess on petrol and fuel.

CPI(M) state secretary M.V.Govindan on Saturday said the contents of the budget is a recommendation and not final. It becomes final only when it is passed, he added.

Govindan's reaction was supported by CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran, who also pointed out that the budget is just a recommendation and not the final word.

The ruling Left Democratic Front convenor E.P.Jayarajan also admitted that the Rs 2 cess of petrol and diesel is a problem and the state government has to think a way out.

One of the reasons why the CPI(M), particularly Govindan, has been taken aback is his state wide yatra which will pass through all the 140 Assembly constituencies is beginning on February 20 and the hashtag of the yatra is to project the indifferent attitude of the Centre and it's at that time the Rs 2 cess has taken the state by storm, with strong anti Vijayan government sentiments rising hugely and the Congress and the BJP are already out in the streets.

Now all eyes are on what Isaac has to say as the Assembly is set to resume from Monday when Balagopal gives his reply to the discussion on the budget.

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