Special Correspondent

`Government scuttling projects initiated by the UDF'

Thiruvananthapuram: Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy on Saturday said the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government had miserably failed to tackle the agriculture crisis in the State. He was addressing a press conference here.

Mr. Chandy said 49 farmers had committed suicide since the LDF Government came to power, belying the ruling front's promise that its policies would arrest the trend. Mr. Chandy said 17 custodial related deaths had occurred in the State.

The LDF Government was scuttling one development project after the other just because these were initiated by the United Democratic Front (UDF). These included the health insurance scheme, pension for farmers and diary farmers, liquidation of the Hill Development Agency, and stoppage of the Hill Highway and MC Road development. The Goonda Ordinance was not regularised into an Act, while law and order was slipping out of the Government's hands. The way the Pathanamthitta police station attack was handled was a clear message to the police not to touch partymen.

The Government ordered a departmental inquiry into the delay in delivering its fax message to the Minority Commission relating to the minority status of self-financing institutions. The Chief Secretary's probe failed to identify the reason for the delay. This was because its roots could be traced to the CPI(M) leadership's intervention.

A few police officials who were not in the good books of the LDF were taken to task for the lapse in the Prime Minister's security, while the officials who were actually responsible for implementing the procedures of the Blue Book were let off.