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LDF calls hartal in parts of Kerala today

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LDF calls hartal in parts of Kerala today
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Kattappana: The Left Democratic Front (LDF) has called for a shut-down in four districts of the state on Saturday to protest the central government’s approach on Kasturirangan repost.

The 12-hour hartal was called in Idukki, Wayanad, Kottayam and Malappuram districts demanding repeal of the notification issued by the union government over the Kasturirangan report on November 13.

The hartal will be observed in the whole districts of Idukki and Wayanad while the shut-down call will be applicable only in three taluks of Malappuram – Eranad, Nilambur and Wandoor. In Kottayam, the hartal has been restricted to four hilly villages – Poonjar-Thekkekara, Melukavu, Theekoyi and Koottickal.

Meanwhile, the High Range Samrakshana Samithi (High Range Protection Council) officials said that they have decided to stay away from the strike called in Idukki district.

Though Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has exuded confidence that the Centre would consider the state's demand, Union Minister Veerappa Moily on Thursday refused to set a timeline for addressing the state's concern.

Moily had Wednesday held a meeting of officials from the states concerned to discuss the problems arising from the implementation of the panel recommendations.

The LDF leaders held that the Centre's "vague" response to the state's demand signalled that an early decision on the issue that agitate thousands of families was not in sight.

With the Lok Sabha polls fast approaching,the issue has become a hotly debated one in the state.

Not only the opposition LDF but even the Congress and its UDF partners are making a hue and cry over an urgent decision to remove the apprehensions of small and marginal farmers, who have been up in arms against its implementation.

The Catholic Church has also lent support to the resistance campaign since a large chunk of the settler farmers in the hilly areas like Idukki and Wayanad belong to the community.

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