The Convenor of the Opposition, United Democratic Front (UDF) P.P. Thankachan has said the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) has organised the ‘human chain’ agitation against the Free Trade Agreement between India and the ASEAN to cover up their government’s failure on law and order and the SNC Lavalin scam issues.
Addressing media persons here on Saturday Mr. Thankachan has said the ‘human chain’ programme organised by the CPI(M) on Friday was a ‘political farce’ because their government failed to implement Central assisted programmes like the Kuttanad package, and special agriculture schemes for Palakkad and Wayanad districts that would have helped the farmers in a big way.
The latest example is their failure to procure copra in the State that would have saved lakhs of coconut farmers.
The Central government had entrusted Nafed to procure 50,000 tonne of copra and raw nut through the State government agencies. But they had so far procured just 7,800 tonne. If copra was procured it would have helped the farmers to get Rs.7 per coconut as against the Rs.3 per nut the farmers are getting now in the open market.
Mr. Thankachan said it was an inhuman act on the part of the CPI(M) to have organised the human chain programme when the boat tragedy took place in Thekkadi. Instead of providing relief to the victims of this big tragedy, the CPI(M) and its Ministers were engaged in organising an anti-Centre agitation. They should have postponed the programme by a few days as the UDF had done, the Convenor said.
He said every political party in the country had its role in signing the ASEAN agreement. The discussion on the agreement started when the I.K. Gujaral government at the Centre supported by the Left parties was in power. The leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI) Chathuranan Mishra was the Agriculture Minister in that government.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by A.B. Vajpayee that succeeded, took the matter forward. After six to seven years of deliberations, only the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government singed the agreement. So, no party can abdicate their responsibility on the ASEAN agreement, he said.
The Convenor said the LDF government failed on all fronts, particularly in protecting the life and property of the people. People have lost their security as the ‘goonda gangs’ are having a free hand and have close relations with some Ministers and their families, he alleged.
The UDF Convenor said the goonda list prepared by the UDF government had listed 4000, but the LDF government brought it down to just 390. The Review Committee of the goonda list was also filled with CPI(M) supporters.
He said as per the report of the National Crime Record Bureau, during the last seven months, the second highest number of crimes took place in Kerala after Manipur.
Mr. Thankachan has said the UDF will organise a fast in front of the Collectorates in the State on October 15 to force the government to take stern action against the goonda gangs and the increasing terrorist activities going on in the State.