The Opposition LDF staged a walkout from the Assembly on Tuesday after the Speaker denied permission for an adjournment motion on the alleged surrendering of the state’s interests by the UDF Government in reclaiming estates, the land of which were leased out by the government long ago, in the Nelliampathy region.
The walkout came amid a spat between Forest Minister K B Ganesh Kumar and Government Chief Whip P C George taking divergent positions on the issue.
Speaking on the issue, V Chenthamarakshan alleged that the government had prepared the ground for losing legal battles one after the other against estate-owners. He charged that this is evident in the case of the Mupli estate and the Cherunelli estate, while many estates falling in the ecologically fragile Nellimapathy belt were taken over during the former LDF Government’s tenure without much hassle.
Many other Opposition members joined him and also began to target P C George for his alleged interventions on behalf of land-owners in the Cherunelli estate.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy countered the Opposition attack and asserted that not a single case was lost during the present government’s tenure.
Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan questioned the sincerity of the government on the issue and demanded a joint House panel should deal with the matter. However, the suggestion didn’t find favour with the Chief Minister, resulting in the walkout.