PALAKKAD: The collection of funds, from even poor social security pensioners, for the Women’s Wall has cast a shadow on the initiative, putting the organisers, especially the CPM, on the defensive. In the Ottappalam Municipality, an independent councillor said that the Killikavu residents’ association in Kaniampuram, Ottappalam, had exchanged messages in their Whatsapp group that the employees of the local co-operative banks collected 100 and 200 while delivering the security pension.
The UDF members joined the chorus forcing the municipality chairman Narayanan Namboodiri to order an inquiry by the Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies.
DCC president V K Sreekantan who produced a sheaf of receipts issued by the Navodhana Samithy alleged there were 5,200 pensioners in Pudussery panchayat alone and even if Rs 100 is collected from each, it will amount to more than 5 lakh. In the Palakkad district, there are 88 panchayats and seven municipalities.
He said that when the issue came to the fore, Minister for Development of Scheduled Castes A K Balan had said that there was no consent and the party will enquire into it. Sreekantan said that it was the Kerala police which has to inquire into it and not the party.
“An organising committee for the Wall was formed with the minister and the District Collector as members. Therefore, the Collector owed an explanation about the unauthorised and forced collection from the poor pensioners. The receipts were printed in the press of the Co-operative Department in Sultanpet. The number of books printed and the funds collected needs to be disclosed by the administration,” he added.
“In the Shoranur Municipality there are 33 wards and in each ward, there are about 15 Kudumbashree units and the funds were being collected from each of them,” said Sreekantan, a councillor in Shoranur.
Sobha arrested, hospitalised; Sivarajan takes over hunger strike
BJP state general secretary Sobha Surendran, who has been on a hunger strike in front of the secretariat for the last 10 days on Sabarimala issue, was arrested and then hospitalized by the police after her health deteriorated. The doctors who examined her said that the BJP leader should be hospitalised owing to her delicate health, but the suggestion was turned down.
The police later arrested her from the tent and admitted her to General Hospital. The strike has been taken over by BJP state vice-president N Sivarajan. The BJP kick-started hunger strike, seeking the relaxation of restrictions put in place in Sabarimala. BJP state general secretary A N Radhakrishnan had started the hunger strike.