In order to enforce strict discipline among the coalition partners, the UDF high power committee, which met here on Tuesday, issued a stern directive to the ministers not to air policy matters in public or finalise them before presenting them in the UDF liaison committee. The meeting also resolved to bring in a comprehensive land policy to plug the loopholes in the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2008 and, if necessary, to promulgate an ordinance prior to it. Another crucial decision of the meeting was a diktat to all front partners and leaders not to indulge in personal verbal attacks against the ministers. A truce was also brokered between the warring Forest Minister K B Ganesh Kumar and government Chief Whip P C George, though the former had challenged to present the ‘living evidence’ against him as claimed by the latter.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy gave an assurance to avoid such lapses in future. Briefing mediapersons after the meeting, UDF convenor P P Thankachan said that the meet had asked a sub-committee formed with M M Hassan as convenor to go into the Nelliampathy estates issue, to expedite its mission and file a report within a month.
He said that till a comprehensive land policy was framed, the government had directed district collectors and RDOs not to grant permission for filling of paddy fields and wetlands under any pretext, anywhere in the state. ‘’All were unanimous that the remaining paddy fields in the state should not be allowed for conversion,’’ he said.