Kerala Assembly passes resolution asking to call back Lakshadweep administrator
Thiruvananthapuram/IBNS: The Kerala Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a resolution asking to call back Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel whose slew of reforms in the union territory have stirred controversy.
The resolution, which was presented by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the Assembly, was passed by both the ruling Left-led LDF and opposition Congress-led UDF.
"The Administrator, who is challenging the interests of the people, must be removed and the Centre must take immediate action to protect the lives and the livelihood of people of Lakshadweep," Vijayan said in the Assembly as quoted by The News Minute.
"What is happening in Lakshadweep today is an experiment of the Sangh Parivar agenda," the Chief Minister said and added, "The attempt is to impose and implement the saffron agenda and corporate interests in Lakshadweep."
Patel, who was appointed by the BJP government at the Centre in Dec 2020, introduced the proposal of the implementation of the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act, or the Goonda Act in the union territory, which already has a lower crime rate.
As per media reports, locals fear that such an Act will enable the administration to arrest anyone without a trial.
In his explanation, Patel, who is the first politician to assume the administrator's post in a union territory, told The Print that people who have done nothing wrong should not be worried about the new Act.
"Only those who have committed a crime will be penalised, for the others it should not be an issue. In the rest of the country, under the Indian Penal Code there is Section 302 for a reason," he said.
The administrator has sought to bring changes in the panchayat regulations in Lakshadweep, which has no assembly or lawmakers directly elected by common people.
As per the new proposed reforms, any person, who has more than two children, will be ineligible to contest panchayat elections.
The government has also proposed to take control over the administrative powers of Zilla panchayat in matters like education, healthcare, agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries.
Besides the administrative rejigs, Patel gave nod to open liquor bars to encourage tourism in the island territory which is so far non-alcoholic zone due to its Muslim population.
A ban on beef and an elimination of non-vegetarian food from the menu of Angadwadi children are set to be implemented.
Not just the opposition parties like Left and Congress, eight office bearers of Lakshadweep BJP resigned last week, causing an embarrassment for the country's ruling outfit, which has recently suffered a massive poll defeat in West Bengal.