Thiruvananthapuram, July 6 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday said strict action would be taken against those trying to prevent government officials from discharging official duties.
His comments came days after CPI woman legislator E.S. Bijimol allegedly tried to manhandle an additional district magistrate in Idukki district. He said the Communist Party of India legislator was indulging in “petty politics”.
“The entire episode was created by CPI legislator E.S. Bijimol to play petty politics. You (CPI) please ask your own party union staff members in the revenue department about this official (Idukki Additional District Magistrate Moncy P. Alexander),” Chandy said in the Kerala assembly.
“Strict action would be taken against those who try to prevent officials from discharging their duties,” the chief minister said.
A case was lodged against Bijimol on Friday for allegedly trying to manhandle Alexander and obstructing him from performing his duty.
Bijimol allegedly tried to manhandle Alexander in Peruvanthanam in Idukki on Friday when locals were protesting re-installation of a gate on the court’s order at the entry point of a estate which blocked the road, inconveniencing the people.
In the assembly on Monday, Bijimol raised the issue of Alexander trying to play into the hands of the estate owner and sought leave for an adjournment motion into this issue.
Replying to the issue, Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash said this was an issue for long, Bijimol’s party leaders K.E. Ismail and K.P. Rajendran, respectively, were revenue ministers and it was during the latter’s period that the estate owner started to collect a toll from the people who used the right of way in the estate.
“Please don’t try to get away from actions that are going to be taken against you by airing allegations of corruption against me. First you should give us a reply on what you did when your own party minister’s did nothing over this issue and all know that you are trying to create a smokescreen as elections are round the corner,” said Prakash.
Prakash informed the assembly that the gate was earlier removed following an order from the Human Rights Commission, but the estate owners managed to secure a stay order from the Kerala High Court.
To ensure that the rule of law is maintained, Alexander wanted to put the gate back and when he came to do it, he was heckled and attacked by the legislator, he said.
Alexander, who fell down and fractured his ankle, told IANS that he was still undergoing treatment in the Kottayam Medical College Hospital.
Leader of Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan accused the government of playing into the hands of the estate owner, who has usurped over 5,000 acres of government land and led the entire opposition in a walkout from the house.