Vayalkilikal leader Suresh Keezhattur rejoins CPI(M)

Vayalkili leader Suresh Kezhatoor rejoins CPI(M).

Vayalkili leader Suresh Kezhatoor rejoins CPI(M).

Suresh Keezhattur, leader of the Vayalkilikal, is back in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) fold.

Vayalkilikal was a collective of local people that spearheaded an agitation against the proposed national highway bypass through paddy fields. The Vayalkilikal’s agitation against the bypass, which it feared would destroy paddy fields of Keezhattur, was the rallying point for various activist groups and environmental organisations.

The stir launched by the group, comprising mostly CPI(M) workers in defiance of the party leadership in the district, drew public and media attention.

“We were never against the highway but our protest was against the destruction of paddy fields and wetlands at Keezhattur,” Mr. Keezhattur told The Hindu . The farmers who protested here were not against development but only sought the State and Central governments to change the alignment of the bypass through the wetland.

Following the agitation, he along with others was removed from the primary membership of the party. He had during the agitation and later during election announced that he was joining the Communist Party of India. Mr. Keezhattur said he was never against the CPI(M) and the stance of the party. He said the collective only demanded the protection of the wetland and environment, which the Left party and the State government should have taken up.

Later, the Centre issued a notification and the court ordered that the work be started only after paying compensation. In such a situation, they had no choice but to accept implementation of the project.

“It is not a matter now whether the protest was a success or not. Our concerns about environment were highlighted during the strike. The need to protect the environment was conveyed to the people,” Mr. Keezhattur said.

Regarding K-Rail, he said the semi-high-speed rail project would help in development of the State. Unlike the national highway, which came up by destroying the environment, K-Rail was coming up on pillars in wetlands, which would limit destruction of environment.

K-Rail was being implemented by the State government for the benefit of the people. The government was taking a lot of effort to make people understand the need of the rail project. However, the government should also understand Kerala’s fragile environment, which has seen calamities in recent years. It should look into how various projects could be implemented by protecting the environment, Mr. Keezhattur added.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 4:17:36 am |