Meeting to discuss move to implement Kasturirangan panel report

Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) has decided not to attend the all-party meeting convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to discuss the State’s response to the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ decision to implement the Kasturirangan Commission report on the Western Ghats.

The Opposition alliance has decided to give its views on the Ministry’s decision in writing to the State government. The decision to boycott the all-party meeting is a follow-up on the LDF’s resolve to boycott the Chief Minister in connection with the solar scam.

The Opposition alliance has also decided to organise a hartal in Wayanad in addition to Idukki on Friday to protest against the Union Ministry’s decision.

Responding to the Opposition decision to boycott the all-party meeting, the Chief Minister said here on Thursday that the government would prepare its response to the Central decision based on the views of the Opposition, which it had promised to give in writing.

He termed the Central decision a first-level victory for the State as it had opposed the implementation of the report of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel headed by Madhav Gadgil. Comparable to the Gadgil committee report, the Kasturirangan panel report was acceptable, though some of the recommendations were unacceptable to the State.

Mr. Chandy appealed to the Opposition parties to call off their proposed hartal in Idukki and Wayanad as it would only deflect attention from the main issues.

Sources in the Opposition, however, said they were all for protecting the Western Ghats and wanted only to ensure that steps were taken to protect the interests of the farmers in the area.

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