Special Correspondent

‘Government adopting double standard’

‘CPI diluting spirit of eviction drive’

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Opposition on Wednesday walked out of the State Assembly towards the fag end of the day’s session protesting against Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran’s “unwillingness to give direct answers to questions relating to the double standard being followed by the Government” in evicting encroachers from public land in Munnar.

Mr. Rajendran, while replying to discussion on demands for grants for his department, defended yet again the legal status of the building his party, the CPI, had constructed in Munnar. The Opposition’s complaint was that, beyond repeating the line of argument the CPI leadership had given in the matter, the Minister would not give specific answers to some “simple questions” raised in the Assembly.

“How many times should I answer this question,” asked Mr. Rajendran in return. He went on to say that the land was bought long back against the payment of cash from an individual who owned it previously and the CPI, in fact, had needed title deed only for a small additional area on either side of the plot in its possession. He then moved to other points he wanted to cover in his reply to the discussion. The Opposition, unhappy with his refusal to stay on the topic any further, walked out of the House.

Munnar evictions were once again the prime topic of debate in the Assembly during the day, with Congress MLAs trying to put the CPI on the dock “for diluting the spirit of the eviction drive to hold on to its office-cum-resort” at the hill station.

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