Though the Congress-led UDF has just 72 MLAs in a house of 140, Kerala CM Oommen Chandy does not think it is a handicap. On completing a year in office, he talks to HT on various topics, including the Italian marines’ issue, which has caused diplomatic turbulence.
How do you rate your performance over the past year?
It is satisfactory. From day one, our motto has been development with care. I tried to create an atmosphere in which everything is quick and transparent. On the development front, I am getting constructive support from the opposition. We are in the midst of preparing Vision 2030 — a long-term road map.
The Italian marines' issue is threatening to rock ties between India and Italy...
We have to deal with the case in accordance with the law of our land. Two innocent fishermen were killed without any provocation. The accused will have to face murder charges. No other country will allow killers to go scot-free.
Many say Kerala's adamant posture is posing a big problem. What is the way out?
It is not true. Officials of Italy did not complain about this. Even the arrested marines are satisfied with our arrangements.
The savage murder of the CPM rebel has brought shame to the state?
True. We have to put an end to the politics of intolerance. My government is committed to doing this, especially in the Malabar areas.
Kerala is in the midst of another by-election?
Yes, Neyyattinkara will be the repeat of Piravom (a bypoll in which UDF won).