Kerala

UDF opposes lockdown extension in Kerala

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan holding a discussion with IUML leaders at Panakkad.  

The United Democratic Front (UDF) has asked the government to seriously consider the socio-economic damage inflicted by the 38-day-long lockdown in the State. “The people are suffering. With no jobs, they are finding it hard to survive. The government must reconsider continuing the lockdown,” said Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan at Panakkad near here on Monday.

Mr. Satheesan was addressing the media along with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leaders after visiting IUML national chairman and State president Sayed Hyderali Shihab Thangal at his house at Panakkad here.

Mr. Satheesan said the government had offered several concessions to the people during the first lockdown in 2020 as it was before the elections. “Now the attitude is different. The government should consider the pathetic situation of the people,” he said, adding that the UDF would soon submit a memorandum to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Offering support

However, he said, the UDF would continue to give unconditional support to the government in the State’s fight against COVID-19. “What we need is an informed and judicious decision by considering all aspects, including the socio-economic impact.”

Row over tree felling

Charging the government with “criminal silence on the strange forest plunder” in the State, Mr. Satheesan said two UDF teams would visit the controversial sites in Thrissur and Idukki districts soon.

He said the Revenue and the Forest Departments would not be able to wash their hands of the forest plunder. “Tahsildars and village officers are the custodians of the vested trees. They cannot evade responsibility.” The silence of both the CPI and the CPI(M) indicated that they were protecting the culprits involved in the tree felling.

Scholarships

Mr. Satheesan said the UDF had a clear and strong stand on the controversial community scholarships. “The present dispensation of scholarships should be continued. The government should evaluate and consider the other minority communities accordingly,” he said. The UDF leaders accused the government of dilly-dallying in the scholarship issue. The Opposition Leader was joined by IUML national general secretary P.K. Kunhalikutty, and IUML national treasurer P.V. Abdul Wahab.

Mr. Wahab said the government had failed to distribute scholarships worth more than ₹100 crore in the last five years. IUML district president Sayed Sadikali Shihab Thangal; IUML State general secretary P.M.A. Salam; Muslim Youth League State president Sayed Munawwarali Shihab Thangal; A.P. Anil Kumar, MLA; and Sayed Basheerali Shihab Thangal were present.

Mr. Satheesan said his visit to Panakkad was “heart-warming” and was in tune with a long tradition followed by the past leaders of the Congress, including K. Karunakaran.


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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 12:40:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/udf-opposes-lockdown-extension-in-kerala/article34810903.ece

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