Thiruvananthapuram: Party flags are precious to every political outfit and putting up them in whichever place one wishes is an undesirable practice, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.
He was replying to a notice for adjournment motion on the incident in which a Gulf returnee allegedly committed suicide at Pathanapuram in Kollam district after the All India Youth Federation (AIYF), student wing the CPI, prevented him from setting up an automobile workshop on a leased plot by putting up their party flags at the site.
“There has been an unhealthy tendency of hoisting flags and staging agitations in industrial units by a section of workers attached to different political parties. Every party should try to root out such practices that would drive away investors. There should also be a collective effort to end ‘nokkukooli’ as well,” he said.
“When people come forward to invest in the state, they should be provided with every possible support and help. Instead, what some trade union representatives is doing is forcing them to give employment to persons affiliated to their union and threaten those who refuse to budge with dire consequences. The unions have every right to involve in labour issues, but supplying manpower is not their job. That is illegal. There have been instances of charging ‘nokkukooli’ even for works executed by machines. It is high time we acted against such illegal practices,” he added.
Illegal construction should be stopped: Kanam
Meanwhile, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran, responding to Pinarayi Vijayan’s remarks, said that if the chief minister wanted no organisation to put up flags on illegally reclaimed paddy fields, that policy would be applicable to AIYF too.
“If a paddy field is converted flouting rules, political organisations have the right to agitate by hoisting flags at the site. I don't think the NRI businessman committed suicide because the AIYF put up a flag there,” Kanam said.
CM bats for land mafia: AIYF
AIYF state secretary Mahesh Kakkath flayed the chief minister’s remarks alleging that he was siding with officials who are hand in glove with the land mafia.
“If we come across illegal reclamation of paddy fields and wetlands, we will definitely protest against it and put up our flags there. The chief minister’s statement that flags of political parties are not something that could be placed anywhere is intended to promote the land mafia and its activities,” he alleged.