THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Munnar eviction drive continues to be one of the major roadblocks before the Left Government. In a direct confrontation between the ruling CPM and the CPI, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has decided to call a high-level meeting on Munnar eviction ignoring stiff opposition from Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan.
The high level meeting will be held in the state capital on July 1 and the Revenue Minister is most unlikely to attend it. Pinarayi directed Revenue Secretary P H Kurian to convene the meeting despite Chandrasekharan specifically asking him not to do so, as it would be inappropriate to call a meeting to discuss the issue based on the petition of an encroacher.
“The Chief Minister has sent me a note directing me to hold a meeting on the Munnar issue,” Kurian said.
“As per the directive, I’ve sent a notice to convene the meeting.” In addition to officers, including the District Collector, the meeting is expected to have representatives of political parties.
CPI to stay away
Irked by the new development, the CPI has decided to boycott the meeting. The party’s state executive meeting on Tuesday discussed the issue in detail. A decision has been taken to stay away from the meeting. The party is likely to take up the issue in the LDF also. The party also sought an explanation from its Idukki leader C A Kurian for allegedly supporting the Idukki delegation in this regard. However, he denied such reports terming them the creations of the media.
The CPI is of the view the LDF has a declared policy against encroachment and pro-people development.
“The Left Front has a declared policy that development should be for men and nature,” said CPI national executive member Binoy Viswam. “No deviation from this would be appreciated by Kerala’s Left psyche.”
How it began
The issue began last week when the CMO sent a letter to the Revenue Minister’s office stating the Chief Minister had recommended a meeting to discuss the Munnar eviction drive on the basis of a complaint received by an all-party delegation. The petition by leaders of all political parties, including S Rajendran MLA, demanded the removal of the Devikulam Sub Collector.
The main demand was to stop the eviction drive of the 22 cents of encroached land near the Munnar police station. With the same demand, the delegation had earlier met the Revenue Minister.
Following this, the Revenue Department sought a report from the district administration which confirmed encroachment on the 22 cents. Moreover, it was found the legal suite filed by those who claim the property was also fake.