Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy has alleged that efforts are on to bring the Aralam Farm under the control of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Inaugurating the Adivasi march to the farm office at Aralam organised by the Adivasi Gothra Jana Sabha (AGJS) here on Thursday, Mr. Chandy said there were attempts to float a private company packed with CPI(M) functionaries and hand over the farm to the company. He said if the proposal for retaining half of the farm land under a company should benefit the Adivasis, the director board of that company be constituted with representatives of Adivasis and the State government. Instead, attempts were now on to bring the farm under the CPI(M) control by including party activists in the company's director board, he added.

The Leader of the Opposition said that it was during the previous UDF government's tenure that the proposal for forming a company to control the farm had been taken. The proposal then was taken to protect the interests of the Adivasis, he said, adding that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government was subverting the proposal. The CPI(M) and the LDF government were exploiting the Adivasis in the Aralam Farm, he pointed out.

Alleging irregularities in the construction of houses for rehabilitated families in the farm, Mr. Chandy said that the authorities were doing little to protect the land assigned to the landless tribal families there. The land assigned to the Adivasis was therefore vulnerable to encroachment by outsiders, he added. Calling for a detailed inquiry into the alleged diversion of the funds for Adivasis in the Aralam Farm and irregularities in the construction of houses for rehabilitated tribal families in the farm, Mr. Chandy said the depositing of the funds sanctioned for the construction of the houses in a CPI(M)-controlled co-operative bank betrayed the CPI(M)'s political interest. He said the serious exploitation of the Adivasis in the farm would be brought to the notice of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and the Minister for Welfare of Scheduled and Backward Communities A.K. Balan.

Mr. Chandy said the LDF government had assigned no additional land to the Adivasis other than the cultivable land identified and marked by the previous UDF government.

AGJS president Sreeraman Koyyon presided over the function. District Congress president P. Ramakrishnan, former Minister K.P. Nooruddin and Congress leader A.D. Musthafa were among those who addressed the marchers.

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