The meeting registered its reservations about Cabinet decisions being taken on crucial issues without being properly discussed in the party’s forums.
The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has asked the State government to scrap the February 8 Cabinet decision to regularise pre-2005 landfills.
The demand came up at the KPCC’s party-government coordination committee meeting here on Monday. The meeting registered its reservations about Cabinet decisions being taken on crucial issues without being properly discussed in the party’s forums.
The divergent perceptions of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and other members of the panel on the issue of landfills were evident at the meeting, with Mr. Chandy justifying the Cabinet decision, which, he said, had been taken on the basis of a large number of petitions he had received during his mass contact programme. The meeting began with some candid remarks by KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, who pointed out some of the Cabinet decisions that had become controversial, yet were not debated in party forums. His views were seconded by V.M. Sudheeran, who did not buy Mr. Chandy’s contentions. Mr. Sudheeran wanted the government to think of streamlining the existing redressal mechanism within the purview of the 2008 Act instead of indiscriminate regularisation of landfills.
Mr. Sudheeran went one step further, while addressing mediapersons after the meeting by stating that it was unfortunate that more time was not being devoted to discussions on crucial issues even when meetings were convened.
Other issues on agenda
The meeting also discussed the possibilities of bringing in a land policy in view of the multiple problems related to land use in Kerala, including those required for industrial use, expiry of lease period, violation of lease terms, and issuance of title deeds to farmers, to name some. Since the matter had larger ramifications, it was felt that it should be discussed at the United Democratic Front meeting prior to subjecting it to a debate in the Congress forum. The meeting also touched upon controversial issues such as the status of Nelliampathy estates and the aided status proposed to be given to 33 schools in north Kerala. But discussions could not be completed owing to shortage of time as Mr. Chandy had to attend other pre-determined functions.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Mr. Chennithala admitted that divergent views were expressed. “The party-government coordination committee will once again meet on Wednesday evening for a detailed discussion,” he said.