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`Cabinet panel inaction led to Sivagiri episode'

By Our Staff Reporter

KOLLAM July 8. The former general secretary of the SNDP Yogam, K. Gopinathan, has said that while the Cabinet sub-committee appointed to solve the Marad issue was producing results, the Cabinet sub-committee appointed by the same Chief Minister in 1995 to solve the Sivagiri imbroglio had failed in that issue.

At a press conference here today, he said that it was because of the failure on the part of the Cabinet sub-committee to fulfil what had been entrusted them that created a situation warranting the police action at Sivagiri. He said that had the sub-committee been sincere the police action could have been avoided.

Mr. Gopinathan said that even though seven years had lapsed since the police action at Sivagiri he was making the point now since he had received a copy of the Madhavan Nambiar Commission report on the Sivagiri issue only last week.

The report submitted in the year 1999 had strongly criticised the Cabinet sub-committee's lethargic attitude towards the whole issue. The committee had failed to even submit a report to the State Government and, as per the Commission report, there were no records to prove that the committee had gone in session even on one occasion.

He said that had the committee acted responsibly not only would the police action have been avoided but the Yogam would not have fallen into the hands of the present leadership. At the time of the police action on Sivagiri, Mr. Gopinathan was the Yogam general secretary. In the election which followed he was defeated by the present Yogam general secretary, Vellappally Natesan.

Mr. Gopinathan, who is currently the general secretary of the Sree Narayana Dharma Samithy, said that answers were required on why the Cabinet sub-committee had behaved in such an irresponsible manner and whether there was a conspiracy behind it. Moreover, why had Mr. Antony as Chief Minister failed to ensure that the committee had done its job. He demanded a CBI probe into the whole episode.

Entering politics

Mr. Gopinathan said that the real intention behind the move to convert the Yogam into a political force was to satisfy the hunger for political power among a few at the helm.

He said that the Yogam had floated a political party earlier and learnt a bitter lesson. Any such moves in future should follow a detailed examination of those lessons. He said though the Yogam may have grown in strength during the recent years the fact was that the organisation had lost its democratic character.

The Yogam should grow only within the limits of the Yogam tenets. More than Hindu unity it was the unity of the backward classes for which the Yogam should stand for, he said.

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