It was supposed to be a platform to showcase the Congress-led government’s achievements, but ended up with CM Oommen Chandy and number two in his cabinet Ramesh Chennithala airing divergent views on the Kerala growth model.
At a seminar on ‘Kerala’s Growth and Equity, the Way Forward’ attended by the Prime Minister’s advisor T K A Nair and former cabinet secretary and state Planning Board Vice Chairman K M Chandrasekhar, Chennithala — who recently joined the Chandy cabinet as Home Minister — said the Kerala model has lost its sheen.
“The Kerala model was unique. But we can’t live in complacency… The world is changing. India is changing. We cannot sit idle. The new generation wants a new Kerala model. The earlier model has lost its sheen and colour,” he said.
Chandy said the Kerala model of growth is widely appreciated. “The Kerala model of growth is widely appreciated by all, including Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen. Even though we are facing new generation problems, going by achievements in education, macro economy, agriculture, consumer market and investment over the last year, Kerala emerged as most improved,” he said.
“We have taken care to distribute fruits of development to all sections and are specifically implementing policies to assist weaker sections, differently-abled sections and those sidelined so far,” the CM said.
The model of development gives primacy to welfare schemes and focuses on health and education. Admitting that competition is necessary, he said, “Unbridled competition and free enterprise alone cannot guarantee all-inclusive development.”