KERALA

Human chain a farce: Thankachan

Staff Reporter

PALAKKAD: P.P. Thankachan, convener of the United Democratic Front (UDF), has alleged that the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) organised the human chain on Friday to cover up the State government’s failure in maintaining law and order and the SNC-Lavalin scam.

He told presspersons here on Saturday that the party’s protest against the Indo-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement was a political farce because the government had failed to implement Centrally assisted programmes such as the Kuttanad package and the special agriculture schemes for Palakkad and Wayanad districts that would have helped the farmers. The latest example for its laxity was the failure to procure copra that would have saved lakhs of coconut farmers with a price of Rs.7 a nut as against the Rs.3 in the open market.

Mr. Thankachan said it was an inhuman act to organise the human chain in the wake of the Thekkady boat tragedy. Instead of providing relief to the victims, the party and the Ministers were engaged in organising an agitation, which should have been postponed at least for a few days as the UDF had done with its Shanthi Yatras.

He said every political party in the country had its role in signing the ASEAN agreement. The discussions on the agreement started when the I.K. Gujral government was in power at the Centre supported by the Left parties. Chaturanan Mishra of the Communist Party of India was the Union Agriculture Minister then.

The National Democratic Alliance government led by A.B. Vajpayee took the discussions forward. After six or seven years of continual talks, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government could sign the agreement.

He said the State government had failed on all fronts, particularly in protecting life and property.

He said the goonda list prepared by the previous UDF government had 4,000 names, but the present government brought it down to 390.