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`Politics in demolition drive'

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KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala
KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala

Special Correspondent

Encroachments by Left parties protected: Chennithala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala has accused the LDF Government of `playing politics' with its demolition drive against encroachers in Munnar and other parts of the State.

At a news conference here on Friday, Mr. Chennithala alleged that the Government was shielding encroachments by the CPI(M) and CPI, Public Works Minister T.U. Kuruvilla and CPI(M) MLA Rajendran even as it evicted other encroachers and demolished illegal structures in different parts of the State, particularly Munnar. The Government's actions lacked transparency and one could only conclude that the Government was trying to protect some encroachers, particularly the CPI(M) and CPI, which had party office-cum-resorts in Munnar, he said.

Delay in action

Coming down heavily on the Government's reluctance to initiate action against revenue officials who had issued bogus title deeds to the encroachers of Munnar, he pointed out that there was even an allegation that the Revenue Minister was protecting them. He demanded to know what was stopping the Revenue Minister from initiating action against the officials as recommended by Revenue Principal Secretary Nivedita P. Haran.

`Serious' allegation

Mr. Chennithala pointed out that the encroachment on Kerala University land by the AKG Centre, the construction of a petrol pump at Adimali by the Public Works Minister and his encroachment on Government land in Kuttampuzha and the allegation that the CPI(M) MLA was in possession of encroached land in Munnar were too serious to be overlooked. All these cases of encroachments called for urgent inquiry and action, but nothing was forthcoming from the Government, he added.

The KPCC president said the resumption of 2.3 acres of land from the Tatas in Munnar was a joke when considered against the allegation of V.S. Achuthanandan, when he was the Opposition Leader, that the Tatas had grabbed 20,000 hectares of land in Munnar.

If the Chief Minister was sincere about his earlier allegation, he should take steps for retrieval of the 20,000 hectares of land from the Tatas.

Judicial probe sought

Mr. Chennithala also took exception to the manner in which the agreement on the Smart City Project was altered after the Cabinet had approved it. The Cabinet had permitted the Chief Minister to make only one alteration, but as many as eight alterations were made to the agreement. All these changes were in favour of the TECOM group. The matter should be subjected to a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge. The Government could bring the agreements prepared by both the UDF and the LDF for the judicial inquiry, he said.

Difficult solution

He said a solution to the self financing colleges controversy was proving to be difficult because of the Government's lack of vision and the Education Minister's immature handling of the issue. He also welcomed Arch Bishop Varkey Vithayathil's statement that money should not be involved in recruitments and students' admissions in educational institutions. Mr. Chennithala said Health Minister P. K. Sreemathy had once again failed in handling a crisis and said there were not enough doctors to take care of chikungunya patients.

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