Opposition leader in the Kerala assembly Oommen Chandy on Friday alleged that the CPI(M)-led LDF government ‘lacked political will’ to carry out its decision to evict encroachers in the famous hill resort town of Munnar in Idukki district.
Talking to reporters here, Mr. Chandy, who visited Munnar on Thursday, alleged that ‘land mafia’ was ruling the roost in the hill resort behind the cover of small farmers and tribals.
“The Opposition will fully co-operate with the government if it took steps to evict those responsible for large-scale encroachments,” he said.
Mr. Chandy said he had apprised Revenue Minister K. P. Rajendran the details of encroachment he could collect from Munnar.
Large-scale encroachments by bigwigs and plight of settlers should be treated differently, he said.
On Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan’s remark that Mr. Chandy would have to congratulate the government soon on the Munnar issue, he said the opposition would not shy away from congratulating the government if it took effective steps to evict encroachers.
“Through his statement, the Chief Minister himself is admitting that the government had not so far done anything commendable,” he said, adding, the eviction drive in Munnar last year had failed not due to lack of co-operation from the Opposition.