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BJP raps M M Mani, says ‘power money’ and ‘money power’ behind encroachments

BJP raps M M Mani, says ‘power money’ and ‘money power’ behind encroachments

Kochi: The BJP Sunday came down heavily on the CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala on the Munnar land encroachment issue, saying the hill station is “governed by money power and Power Mani”, a jibe at State Power Minister M M Mani.

State BJP chief Kummanam Rajasekharan’s remarks came a day after Mani, who is also a senior CPI (M) leader from Idukki district, allegedly made some comments against Devikulam sub-collector, who led the anti-encroachment drive in ecologically fragile Munnar hills in Idukki district.

“Munnar is governed by money power and Power Mani. Big builders mafia is working behind the scenes,” Rajasekharan told reporters here.

“Efforts are on to isolate the people who stand for truth and justice”, he said in response to Mani’s comments against the young IAS officer, who took a firm stand against alleged encroachment mafia in Munnar.

About Mani calling the Devikulam sub-collector an RSS worker, Rajasekharan said it was a “recognition for the organisation.”

Speaking at a party function at Kunchithanni in Idukki district yesterday, Mani had reportedly lashed out at the district administration for demolishing a Cross erected at an alleged encroached land at Pappathichola in Munnar.

The Kerala government, which decided to call for an all-party meeting to seek support for continuing the anti-encroachment drive in the hill resort town of Munnar, has slammed the manner in which the Cross was removed from the alleged encroached land.

Police have booked Tom Scaria, an evangelist of the ‘Spirit of Jesus’ organisation, in connection with the erection of the Cross.

Munnar, situated about 1,600 metres above the sea level and dotted with plantations, was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British government in South India and is now a favourite destination for tourists.

It has of late become a hunting ground for encroachers as well.

The earlier LDF government headed by V S Achuthanandan had launched the anti-encroachment drive in a big way.

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