Kerala CPI-M begins New Year in protest mode

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 01, 2013 13:30 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 1 (IANS) The CPI-M's Kerala unit began 2013 with a programme of identifying surplus land and then protesting on it to demand its confiscation and distribution to the landless.

A total of 250 Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) volunteers in each of the state's 14 districts will court arrest after entering the land that they have identified to be distributed to the landless.

Leader of Opposition V.S.Achuthanandan launched the state-wide agitation, which will go on till Jan 10, at Kochi Tuesday morning. After Jan 10, the CPI-M will intensify its agitation.

At its three-day party meeting that ended Monday evening, the CP-M noted that the land reforms introduced by the Left government way back in the late 1960s were a landmark and benefited farmers but have now been subverted.

"But in the past decades, what has happened is that the rightist forces in the state have been trying to play havoc by a slew of measures which will set aside the reforms that we launched," said the party in a statement.

The party said it was upset with the manner in which the Congress-led government is going about granting plantation status to cashew farms, besides allowing usage of five percent of plantation lands in estates for tourism activities.

The CPI-M states that there are around three lakh landless families in the state and there is enough land in the custody of the state government for them.

State Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash, however, dismissed the CPI-M's claims.

"When they ruled the state (2006-11), they did nothing for the landless and since our government came, we have conducted revenue adalats in all the revenue districts of the state. We are committed to provide one lakh families land before Aug 15 this year," Prakash said.

"The Left government did nothing even to identify the landless in the state," he added.

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