‘Lakshadweep Admin Serves Saffron-Corporate Agenda’; Kerala Passes Joint Resolution asking Centre to Call Back Praful Khoda Patel

The Legislative Assembly of Kerala on Monday morning passed a joint resolution asking the central government to call back the Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Khoda Patel who is facing the ire of people for his “anti-democratic reforms”. The resolution that pledges solidarity to the residents of the Union territory facing turmoil over a slew of reforms was passed unanimously as both the incumbent Left Democratic Front and opposition United Democratic Front agreed upon it.

The strongly-worded resolution states that the recent administrative moves in Lakshadweep by the administrator Patel is “anti-democratic and aiming to implement Sangh Parivar and corporate agenda though backdoor”. The resolution, which further states that the actions by the administrator adversely affect the life and culture of residents of the island terrain and is with ill intentions. It also sought withdrawal of the controversial reforms, passed by the administrator, who took over in December last year.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who introduced the resolution said that by implementing the reforms like banning beef, the administration is implementing the BJP agenda and trying to enslave the community under Hindutva. The resolution also criticised the implementation of the Goonda Act.

“Administration is painting saffron on the coconut trees in the Dweep and is trying to serve the interests of corporates. They are an encroachment on the peculiar culture of the territory” states the resolution which further added that Lakshadweep has close cultural, geographical and historical links with Kerala.

The Administrator, who is challenging the interests of the people, must be removed & the Centre must take immediate action to protect the lives & livelihood of the people of Lakshadweep. The centre should intervene in the Lakshadweep issue. It’s Centres responsibility to ensure that people’s interest should be protected.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan, supporting the resolution, also said that the actions by Khoda Patel are blatantly anti-democratic and violative of the Right to Life with dignity enured by the Indian Constitution. He also lashed out at the administrator in strong words for “human rights violations” and “cultural encroachment.”

Congress leader PT Thomas, moving an amendment, said that the actions of the administrator cannot be seen in isolation and it is part of the larger Sangh Parivar agenda.

Residents of Lakshadweep have been protesting against a new set of reforms including the implementation of the anti-social Activities Regulation bill, 2021, or the goonda act, in the island territory. They allege that the administrative moves are “anti-people” actions of “BJP-appointee” administrator “who have been trying to destroy the culture and life of the Island.”

The administration took over the control of the elected Zilla panchayat regarding education, healthcare, agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries gave a nod to liquor sale, banned beef and eliminated non-vegetarian food from the menu of Anganwadi children. Lakshadweep is a non-alcoholic zone as the majority population of the island comprises Muslims.

Earlier, state forest minister AK Saseendran had said that the Kerala government wants to take all necessary steps to protect the interests of Lakshadweep people within the ambit of the law, in a manner that does not undermine the dignity of democracy.