High Range Protection Council on Saturday alleged that the announcement of the imminent release of the draft notification on the Kasturirangan report was a ploy to hoodwink the people in view of the approaching Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing media persons in Kattappana, Council's general convenor Sebastian Kochupurackal said that it was only a drama scripted for facing the general elections even as the condition of farmers remained the same.

The new office memorandum and the announcement of the draft notification were to cool down the peoples' anger over the Kasturirangan report and there was no consolation to the farmers who are faced with the implementation of the report, he said.

It was the reason why the union government issued the new office memorandum without revoking the November 13 office memorandum, he said. The council had demanded revoking of the November 13 office

memorandum and a new draft notification that only could provide if any relaxation on Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA) list or exemption to the populated areas in the 123 village its purview.

He said that the circumstances have not changed a little since the council announced its decision to field its own candidate in the coming Lok Sabha elections. The council stood fully for the cause it had taken with regard to the reports on the Western Ghats; he said adding that the elected leaders were cheating the people over the issue.

The council's focus is to protect the 22 lakh farmers affected with the implementation of the Kasturirangan report and it has the will to face those who cheated the people through the ballots, he said.