Memorandum to be sent to Prime Minister by post on Saturday

Seventy-two of the 140 legislators in the Assembly have signed a mass memorandum prepared by the People’s Joint Action Council, opposing the proposed private airport project at Aranmula, Communist Party of India district secretary P. Prasad has said.

Mr. Prasad, accompanied by action council leaders, A. Padmakumar of the CPI(M), K.K. Royson of the Congress, T.R. Ajithkumar of the Bharatiya Janata Party, George Varghese of the Revolutionary Socialist Party and P. Induchoodan of the Aranmula Heritage Village Action Council, was addressing a press conference here on Thursday.

He alleged that the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary had recently convened two high-level meetings in Thiruvananthapuram, exploring ways to overcome legal and administrative hurdles to the project, including the Taluk Land Board’s order declaring 232 acres of land in the possession of the airport company as excess land.

Mr. Prasad said UDF MLAs V.D. Satheesan, C.P. Mohammed, Palode Ravi, T.N. Prathapan, all from the Congress; T.A. Ahamed Kabeer of the Indian Union Muslim League; and M.V. Shreyamskumar of the Socialist Janata (Democratic) had signed the memorandum after addressing a satyagraha staged by the action council in Thiruvananthapuram on June 18.

Mr. Padmakumar and Mr. Ajithkumar said there was reason to suspect corruption behind the Chief Minister’s support to the airport company. A vast expanse of the Aranmula puncha (paddy) and wetland needed to be converted for the project, which would have a negative impact on the environment, they said.

Mr. Royson and Mr. Induchoodan said the government should respect the order of the land board and distribute the excess land among the landless farm workers as prescribed by law.

Mr. Prasad said the action council would stage a march to the Aranmula post office and send a memorandum to the Prime Minister by post on Saturday forenoon. Sugathakumari, poet and action council chairperson, would lead the march. Leaders of socio-cultural and political organisations would take part in the march, he said.

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