Congress gives shape to stir over EZS issue

Thiruvananthapuram The Congress would take over the issue of buffer zone and lead a strong agitation if the State government does not shed its inertia and take steps to allay the apprehensions of people, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary T. U. Radhakrishnan has said.

At a joint meeting of KPCC office-bearers and District Congress Committee presidents here on Monday, Mr. Radhakrishnan said the satellite survey conducted by the Kerala State Remote Sensing and Environment Centre was beyond the comprehension of lay people and likely to create much anxiety amongst them. Buffer zone limits should be fixed through a proper ground survey and study. The demand of the people in the ecologically sensitive zone (ESZ) that more time should be allowed for that is quite fair because this is an issue of life and death for them and the government should exercise more caution and care when dealing with the issue.

If the government is trying to hoodwink people by doing some makeshift study, its fate will be as bad as or worse than what it encountered when it tried to force the SilverLine rail project in total disregard of popular sentiments, Mr. Radhakrishnan said.

The KPCC leadership meet gave shape to the first phase of the agitation by organising people in eco-sensitive zones.

It decided to hold a massive agitation by gathering at least 50,000 people to blockade the Secretariat building in January next as the third phase of the popular agitation that the Congress has been leading against the State government which was facing multiple allegations of corruption and nepotism.

The leadership meet of the KPCC assessed that this blockading of the Secretariat would present the strongest or most intensive face of the popular protest against the anti-people rules of the Pinarayi Vijayan government

The meeting also gave shape to the large-scale celebrations being held on December 28 on the occasion of the 138th anniversary of Indian National Congress. At the mandalam or constituency level, the KPCC will organise many secular meets and rallies.

It also vowed to make a grand success the women’s march being held in the capital by Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi as a follow-up to the Bharat Jodo Tatra led by Rahul Gandhi. The meeting congratulated all Congress activists and secular-minded people in Kerala who had made the Kerala leg of the yatra a huge success.

The Congress will organise popular rallies at the block-mandalam-booth levels to reach the message of the yatra to the grassroots. A photo exhibition of the experiences of Bharat Jodo Yatra while it moved across Kerala will also be held.

The vehicle rallies being organised at the block level now against Pinarayi government have been found to be successful and these will be completed in all blocks before December 30

The KPCC will also conduct public meetings in 1,000 centres by January 15 to organise people against the ‘‘anti-people’’ policies of the government.

Those who spoke in the meeting included KPCC president, K. Sudhakaran, Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan, and working presidents Kodikunnil Suresh and T. Siddique, among others.

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