Trouble in new Left government in Kerala: Congress

Thiruvananthapuram, May 30 (IANS) The Congress party in Kerala has said that trouble has broken out in the less than one week old Left Democratic Front government between the two leading parties — Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

Addressing reporters here on Monday, newly elected Leader of Opposition in the Kerala assembly Ramesh Chennithala said that generally for any new government there is a honeymoon period of six months.

“But fissures have already surfaced between the CPI-M and the CPI over the arbitrary manner in which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that there is no immediate need for a new dam to replace the Mullaperiyar dam, which is totally against the unanimous resolution passed by the Kerala assembly, which sought a new dam,” said Chennithala.

Vijayan, who was sworn in along with an 18 member cabinet last Wednesday, made the startling disclosure while in Delhi last week that there was no immediate need for a new dam to replace the Mullaperiyar dam and through talks with Tamil Nadu, issues can be resolved.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the dam, built under an 1886 accord between the then Maharaja of Travancore and the erstwhile British regime.

Though the dam is located in Kerala, it is owned, maintained and operated by Tamil Nadu and the former has for long been demanding de-commissioning of the dam that has developed leaks.

While the Kerala government said that the dam is posing a serious threat to lives and property in five districts of the state taking into account its age, Tamil Nadu wanted the water level of the dam to be increased.

But the Supreme Court directive that came in May 2014, allowed Tamil Nadu to increase the water level from 136 feet to 142 but in no case it should exceed 142 feet.

The Kerala assembly held a special session and passed a unanimous resolution demanding that a new dam is the only way out.

“Vijayan appears to have jumped the gun and the CPI has already expressed its reservation in the manner he made this statement in Delhi. He knows very well that there is a unanimous resolution demanding a new dam and many are baffled through his sudden change of stance. Our stand is very clear and the only way out is a new dam. We will now wait and see what the Vijayan government does on it,” said Chennithala.

Incidentally, the LDF poll manifesto had mentioned about a new dam at Mullaperiyar.

–IANS

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