Kollam: If the CPM leadership in Kollam district’s Nilamel acts as per the chief minister's 'good advice' on rooting out practices that drive away investors, Parthan Unnithan’s long-standing dream of establishing a welding workshop would materialise.
The chief minister, in reply to a notice for adjournment motion in the assembly the other day, had called on all political parties to put an end to the unhealthy tendency of hoisting flags and staging agitations at industrial units.
A tale of unending struggle
Unnithan, of Murali Vilasam, in Kuriyodu near Chadayamangalam, owns a piece of land at the Murukkuman Junction along the MC Road. He was running a workshop at Ayoor before he was forced to sell off that property after incurring huge losses. Later, he decided to shift to his native place, Murukkuman, and open an automobile workshop there. He set up a shed on the land which had been levelled several years ago in order to construct a building.
To raise the remaining portion of the area to the level of the building, a load of soil was brought in. But before the commencement of construction works, CPM cadres planted the party flag at the plot.
“I had appealed to the party local committee secretary to remove the flag six months ago, but there has been no response from his side so far. Due to the protest, the secretary of the Nilamel grama panchayat turned down my request to issue license to form an industrial unit. I continue to run from pillar to post to get my requests fulfilled, but to no avail,” he says.
Flags of trickery
Across the state, there have been several instances of party workers putting up flags and staging agitations on private properties to meet their vested interests.
In 2012, a group of CPM activists launched an agitation when a private property of about acre paddy field situated along the Iritty-Peravoor stretch was levelled by its owner.
The Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union (KSKTU), a feeder organisation of the CPM, planted the party flag at the site, alleging that water flow to the paddy cluster owned by a party sympathiser was blocked due to the levelling of the field. The protests died down after the former purchased that cluster and later, with the connivance of the party leadership, levelled the entire area. Ironically, the last CPM Peravoor area committee meeting was held at the 'illegally' reclaimed paddy land.
In another similar incident, the KSKTU had gone up in arms against establishing an industrial unit on a converted paddy field at Kalliasseri in Kannur district. The protest was spearheaded by a CPM secretariat member. While inaugurating the agitation, he declared vehemently that the owner would have to first tread on him before setting up the unit.
However, one fine day, the party called off the protests for unknown reasons. Eventually, the unit was established at the same site and one of the chief guests at the inaugural ceremony was a CPM central committee member!
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