Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday denied a media report that the government had moved to concentrate executive power with the Chief Minister’s Office by amending the rules of business that govern day-to-day administration.
He also termed mere speculation a suggestion in the news report that at least four of his Cabinet colleagues and coalition partners had objected to the move.
Mr. Vijayan said that on December 28, 2018, the government had constituted a committee comprising five top bureaucrats to examine the rules of business, single out anomalies, if any, and recommend revisions if necessary.
On August 26, 2020, the Cabinet considered the set of recommendations tabled by the committee of bureaucrats. It decided to constitute a Cabinet subcommittee to study the proposals in detail.
The Cabinet nominated Law Minister A.K. Balan as convener of the subcommittee. It named Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan, Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran, Minister for Ports Kadannappally Ramachandran, and Water Resources Minister K. Krishnankutty as members. The subcommittee was yet to submit its report.
The newspaper report had suggested that the coalition Ministers had objected to any amendment to the rules of business because they feared it would undermine their authority and concentrate executive power with the Chief Minister and heads of departments. Mr. Vijayan said the report was mere speculation.
Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala had said any alteration of the rules of business would undermine democracy and bolster authoritarianism. It would do away with checks and balances in the system and promote the arbitrary exercise of executive power.