Presidents of eight block panchayats have alleged that there was a concerted effort from ‘‘some quarters’’ to malign P.T. Thomas, MP, on the basis of  an open forum convened here on September 17.

It was with ulterior motive that the discussion was disrupted by a few, and campaign against Mr. Thomas in the name of ‘‘protecting the interests of farmers’’ should be stopped, they said.

As some references in the Madhav Gadgil Commission reports were objected by Kerala and other States, a high power committee with Kasthurirangan, agro-scientist, had been appointed for studying it. The open forum was convened with the aim of apprising the concern of the farmers in Idukki before the officials of the State Bio-Diversity Board, the presidents said.

Due to the ill-motive of a few, the discussions deviated from the focus and there was a bid to portray Mr Thomas as anti-farmer, they said.

Mr. Thomas had always stood for protecting the interest of farmers, they said.  Nobody could question the integrity of Mr. Thomas as farmer-friendly. It was he who stood firmly for realising the proposals in the Idukki package, they said.

The press note was issued by block panchayat presidents A.P. Usman, Thomas Rajan, Leelamma Jose, Molly Micheal, Swarnalatha Appukuttan, Sibi Damodaran, R. Karuppusami, and Shanti Baby.

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