THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Lakshadweep administration has proposed to bring in new panchayat regulations that makes any person with more than two children ineligible to contest panchayat elections.The draft Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation 2021, which has been placed in the public domain seeking comments from public by March 28, 2021, has already drawn criticism from various political parties.Unrest has been brewing among political parties in the island over various new decisions by the Island administration.
Clause 14 of the draft Panchayat Regulation says that those with more than two children cannot contest panchayat elections. Neither can a person with more than two kids be a member of a gram panchayat or continue as such. But it gives exception to those who have more than two children on the date of commencement of the regulation as long as the number of children does not increase. The clause also gives exemption those who have one or more than one child born in a single delivery within one year from the date of the commencement of the law.
The NCP, along with other parties, have condemned the suggestion. “The new amendment suggests that those with more than two children should not contest. This is simply unacceptable. Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faisal is planning to take up the matter with Union Home Minister Amit Shah,” said Lakshadweep NYC general secretary Advocate Arafa.
Another proposed bill – the Lakshadweep Anti Social Activities Regulation 2021 – too is caught up in a controversy. The Lakshadweep MP has lashed out at the draft bill. In a letter to Lakshadweep SSP, Faizal pointed out that the crime rate is low in the island. Terming the bill unwanted and unwarranted, he urged the authorities not to implement such harsh laws in Lakshasweep.
The power to detain a person beyond the territorial boundaries of Lakshadweep under Section 14 of the proposed bill is unjustifiable, he said adding that it is likely to be misused and may infringe on a person’s legitimate rights. “Definitions of ‘cruel person’, ‘property grabber’ and ‘unauthorised structure’ are likely to be misinterpreted and misused. These (laws) are unwarranted and ill-conceived,” he said.
Another order by the administration to issue liquor licence too has kicked up a row. “The administrator has been taking decisions that are against the interests of the Lakshadweep islands. Most political parties including the BJP, Congress, NCP and CPM have opposed these decisions,” said T Cheriyakoya of Lakshadweep Students Association.
Meanwhile, Lakshadweep BJP general secretary M P Sayed Mohammed Koya said liquor will be supplied only to tourists. “Earlier serving of liquor was allowed only at Bengaram island resort. Now three more islands – Kavaratti, Minicoy and Kadmat – have been included,” he said.