Staff Reporter

Protest in front of Secretariat on June 9 against move to freeze Devaswom Bill

ALAPPUZHA: Several members of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam general body have raised a demand for the Yogam to form a political party, alleging that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF) are neglecting the welfare of the Ezhava community.

Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan, speaking to reporters after an emergency meeting of the general body convened at Cherthala, near here, on Monday to discuss the LDF government's move to freeze the new Devaswom Bill, said a decision on the demand was not yet taken.

The SNDP is concentrating on becoming a political force to be reckoned with and a decision on forming a political party will be taken only after elaborate discussions, including at a meeting of backward community and minority leaders in Ernakulam on June 19, he said. The current agenda of the Yogam does not include a political party, which at the same time cannot be ruled out, he added.

The members put forward such a demand since both fronts had failed to meet the expectations of the Yogam in particular and the Ezhava community in general, he said.

Women's quota

The Yogam will stage a protest in front of the Secretariat on June 9 against the government move to freeze the Devaswom Bill. The general body adopted a resolution demanding that the Centre pass the Women's Reservation Bill only after including provisions for reservation for backward communities. The Bill in its present form, the Yogam felt, will help only women from forward communities. The Yogam also demanded that backward communities be given representation in proportion to their population in the coming local body elections, he said.

Since backward communities form 85 per cent of the country's population, the SNDP is ready to take the lead in uniting these communities. The meeting on June 19, which will be attended by leaders of all backward communities and minorities, will discuss the necessary action plan for this, Mr. Natesan added.

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