Centre urged to reject ‘anti-farmer’ recommendations

The State Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution urging the Union government to reject the “anti-farmer” recommendations of the Kasturirangan Committee, besides totally exempting thickly populated centres and agriculture land while identifying Ecologically Sensitive Areas, taking into consideration the apprehension of the people.

Substantive Motion

“The State Assembly urges the Central Government to take a final decision (on the implementation of the report) only on the basis of the proposals submitted by the State government in deference to the general sentiments expressed on the floor of the House,” said the Substantive Motion moved by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy under Rule 275 of the House procedures.

Replying to the one-hour debate on the adjournment motion under Rule 130, Mr. Chandy said he had received a communication from the Prime Minister’s Office in response to the Memorandum that he, along with his Cabinet colleagues, had submitted to Dr. Manmohan Singh during his recent visit to the State. According to it, the Prime Minister had directed the Ministry concerned to consult the State governments before implementing the report.

Unanimous stand

Mr. Chandy, while appealing for unanimity on the issue, made it clear that he was not for total rejection of the Kasturirangan report as it was an improvement of sorts over the Gadgil report in terms of its sweep. Responding to the criticism of CPI(M) members, Mr. Chandy, reading out CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan’s letter to him on the issue, said Mr. Vijayan had taken a realistic stand on the issue arguing for conservation and development. He also explained the circumstances for the current confusion about the implementation of the report. “Kerala’s stand on the Kasturirangan report was just and was in the larger interests of the farmers living in the High Ranges. The State government is determined to get its point of view accepted by the Centre. There was no cause for concern,” he said.

Members representing the affected constituencies participated in the debate and were unanimous in expressing their apprehension about the impact of the Kasturirangan recommendations if they were implemented.