The land rights strike launched by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was nothing short of a ‘fraud’ on the landless poor of Kerala, alleged Adoor Prakash, Minister for Revenue and Coir.

Talking to reporters here on Wednesday, Mr Prakash alleged that the CPI(M) was fooling the poor through the ongoing agitation.

He further alleged that the previous CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front Government had neither taken any step to facilitate land to the scores of landless poor nor made any attempt to identify the landless people in the State and hence the party has no moral right to stage such an agitation, now.

2.33 lakh landless families

Mr Prakash said it was the United Democratic Front Government that had conducted a systematic survey and identified that the State has a total of 2,33,232 landless families. The Government has decided to provide land to all the landless people by 2015.

Going a step ahead, the Government has decided to allot land to one lakh landless people by August 15, 2013, itself, he added. He said the CPI(M) announcement to organise a land rights stir came only after the Government decision to allot land for all landless people in the State in a time-bound manner.

Issac criticised

The Minister alleged that the statement made by the former Finance Minister, T.M. Thomas Issac, that the UDF Government was only continuing various development programmes launched by the previous LDF Government was a mere gimmick to mislead the common people.

Had the CPI(M) been really concerned in the case of the landless poor, it would have identified the total number of landless people in the State and taken steps to provide land to all of them during their five-year rule of the State, Mr Prakash said.

He alleged that the ongoing land rights stir of the CPI(M) was a conscious attempt to malign the UDF Government by creating a smoke screen.

Aranmula airport

Mr Prakash said the previous LDF Government was solely responsible for facilitating various clearances for the proposed international airport project at Aranmula.

He said the UDF Government had never given any clearance for the proposed airport project. It was the former Chief Minister, V.S. Achuthanandan, who had given an in-principle clearance for setting up an international airport project in Aranmula on the basis of a letter from the then local MLA, K.C. Rajagopalan of the CPI(M), he said.

None other than the former Industries Minister and CPI(M) leader, Elamaram Kareem, had taken steps to declare a large extent of land spread across the villages of Aranmula, Mallappuzhasserry and Kidangannur as industrial area, Mr Prakash said.

The Government has to examine whether there is any excess land in Aranmula, he added.