Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition LDF Monday staged a walkout in the Assembly in protest against denial of permission for an adjournment motion seeking discussion over the Peruvanthanam issue.
Raising the issue in the House, CPI-M MLA E S Bijimol, who was involved in the protest at the estate, accused the government of favouring the TR&T Company that owns the rubber plantation at Peruvanthanam.
“The company gets all the support from the state Revenue minister. There is obscurity in the functioning of the estate. They have the backing of a lobby including the ADM. They do not have any records to prove the ownership of the estate land,” the MLA said.
Locals have been protesting for the last few days against closure of a pathway used by them to go to a nearby place of worship following which
“The State Human Rights Commission directed revenue officials to remove the gate that blocked a pathway used by the locals to go to a nearby place of worship. But there was inaction from the district administration in implementing the order. The government also sided with the company allowing them to move the High Court and attain a stay on the on the Commission's decision. But the High Court has not allowed them to rebuild the gate.”
Replying to the notice for the motion, Revenue minister Adoor Prakash said that the MLA had hidden motives in the incident. “It wasn’t right from the part of Bijimol, an MLA, to assault Idukki ADM. The MLA could have approached the government if she had any complaints. The people have seen what Bijimol did to the ADM. Nobody should think they can attain something through violence,” the minister said.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said what happened at Peruvanthanam was unfortunate. “The government does not support the stand of the estate owner. No political party is supporting the blockage of people’s pathways,” he said.
After the reply from the minister and the Chief Minister, the Speaker disallowed the plea for the motion, leading to the LDF members headed by opposition leader V S Achuthanandan staging walkout.
Before staging the walkout, Achuthanandan said the government should not think it can silence the legislators who stand for the people. “A case was filed against Bijimol as she stood for the people there. The act of the government was that of helping the encroachers,” he said.