The notification issued by T. Balakrishnan, former Additional Chief Secretary who was also the Principal Secretary to Industries Department, declaring 500 acres of land in and around Aranmula as industrial area when the election code of conduct came into force on March 1 was in gross violation of the prevailing rules and norms of the land, alleged V.S. Achuthanandan, Leader of the Opposition.

Mr Achuthanandan was inaugurating a public meeting, ‘Aranmula Samrakshana Sangamam’ organised by the Left Democratic Front, at Aranmula on Friday.

He said the United Democratic Front was trying to put the blame on the previous LDF Government by unleashing false propaganda that it was the Achuthanandan Government that given all clearance for paddy field conversion at Aranmula in connection with the controversial airport project there. However, the UDF was cut a sorry figure when its members raised the issue in the Assembly, he added.

He said the previous LDF Government had made only an in-principle acceptance of the project, categorically mentioning that it should be executed in strict compliance with the existing laws of the land.

He alleged that Mr Balakrishnan’s act of issuing the industrial area notification with out even conducting a site inspection was totally against the law, adding that the LDF and the people of Aranmula would never accept it. The people of Kerala could expect such kind of notifications from an Additional Chief Secretary who out rightly rejected the Land Reforms Act, he alleged.

Mr Achuthanandan said 58 acres of paddy fields have already been illegally converted in the name of a private airport project at Aranmula. He has called upon the people to reconvert the illegally converted land to its original position and to launch cultivation there without any further delay.

Disregarding its disastrous environmental impact, both the Union and the State Governments have been extending unconditional support to the controversial private airport project for reasons best known to them, he alleged.

The Opposition Leader further alleged that certain officials have been showing undue interest favouring the private company during the Governments led by both the UDF and the LDF.

The Emerging Kerala investors’ meet too was aimed at supporting the land mafia and real estate lobby. And now, the UDF Government was trying to sabotage the Land Utilisation Act through anti-people amendments.

Sugathakumari, poet and social worker; Panniyan Raveendran, State Secretary of CPI, P.C. Thomas, Kerala Congress State president; Uzhavoor Vijayan, NCP State vice-president, and Kadannappally Ramachandran, Congress(S) State president, also spoke.

Mr Achuthanandan, accompanied by Ms. Sugathakumari and other LDF leaders, also visited the illegally converted portion of the Aranmula paddy fields, later.