UDF demands Rs 10 lakh relief amount for kin of people who die of Covid

The UDF has urged the state government to increase the compensation amount for the families of persons who die of Covid from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh.

Published: 24th September 2021 06:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2021 06:05 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The UDF has urged the state government to increase the compensation amount for the families of persons who die of Covid from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh. After the daylong leadership meeting here on Thursday, the UDF also reiterated that the LDF government should release the correct Covid death toll in the state.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Opposition leader V D Satheesan warned that the UDF will not shy away from holding protests if the state government does not come clean on it. The UDF meeting also decided to urge the LDF government to reconsider the Silverline project terming it “unviable and irrelevant” and, instead, come up with an alternative project. This was decided after IUML leader M K Muneer, who was entrusted by the previous UDF meeting, submitted a comprehensive study report on the consequences of having a mega project when the state has not even initiated a socio-environmental impact study.

The UDF leadership felt that there is corruption involved in the project as the authorities have been going ahead with land acquisition even before finalising the alignment. The meeting also decided to lend support to the hartal called by the various trade unions on Monday in solidarity with the protesting farmers.

At the meeting, leaders of all UDF constituents rallied behind Congress state president K Sudhakaran and Satheesan in their attempts to bridge the divide between religions following the Pala bishop’s ‘narcotic jihad’ remarks. The leaders asked the duo to continue their talks with the community leaders.

A day after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cited data to refute claims that ‘narcotic and love jihad’ has links with any religion, Satheesan stood firm in his demand that the government should convene an all-party meet.

Cong to continue talks with community leaders
At the meeting, leaders of the allies were all praise for Satheesan and Sudhakaran who have taken upon themselves the responsibility of addressing the apprehensions of various community leaders following the bishop’s remarks when, in reality, the state government should have taken the initiative. The IUML leaders said they have not reacted to the remarks to avoid further dispute. Senior Congress MP K Muraleedharan opined that it is ‘narcotic mafia’ which is rampant.

However, Kerala Congress (Joseph) faction leaders took a softer stand on the issue saying Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt came up with the remarks without any ill intention. “Even before the assembly elections, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and LDF leadership had raised ‘love jihad’ giving it the name social engineering. What is being witnessed now is the aftermath of it.

The Sangh Parivar is keen on ensuring that the communal tensions prolong. The CPM also follows the same policy. That is why the chief minister has reacted to the controversy after 14 days, contradicting minister V N Vasavan’s stand. The UDF has taken a unanimous decision that we should continue the talks with community leaders,” said Satheesan.


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