Munnar: CPM legislator S Rajendran trained his guns on Devikulam subcollector VR Premkumar on Thursday, mounting a covert attack on the CPI which mans the revenue department. He said Premkumar was being remote-controlled by someone else and the IAS officer had cheated in the UPSC exam.
Premkumar rubbed the ruling party the wrong way when he canceled the title hold of land owned by Joice George MP. Revenue minister E Chandrasekharan later gave a clean chit to the MP and asked the officer to re-examine his order.
The shady land deals in and around Munnar have opened another battle front for the communist parties already fighting over the corruption allegations that led to transport minister Thomas Chandy’s resignation on Wednesday.
Chandy had to quit the cabinet despite enjoying the goodwill of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan after CPI ministers refused to sit with the disgraced minister from the NCP in the cabinet meeting.
However, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran had stated on Wednesday: “Extraordinary situation forced the party to take such an unusual step with the good knowledge that it was an unprecedented action.”
Rajendran and the other CPM leaders in Idukki have orchestrated a mass movement against the district administration’s crackdown on encroachments of public land. The strange protest by the ruling party against its own government is targeted at alliance partner CPI.
The hastily formed ‘Munnar Protection Committee’ has called for a hartal in 10 panchayats in the district on November 21 to protest the actions by the revenue and forest departments, both under CPI ministers. The committee comprises different political parties, merchants and a collective of planters and farmers.
They want the government to nix the Nivedita P Haran committee report and withdraw the cancellation of title deeds.