Achuthanandan again warns of action against Tata TeaOctober 1st, 2008 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS
Munnar (Kerala), Oct 1 (IANS) Defying colleagues from his own party, the Communist Party of India-Marxist and from other allies, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Wednesday reiterated his charges against Tata Tea and announced he would seize the land “encroached” on by the Tatas here.”Why do you have such a doubt?” he told reporters when asked whether he will carry through his threat to seize the land that his government thinks the Tatas have encroached upon.
“It has come to light that there is a section of political leaders who support the Tatas and the resort owners who have encroached on land here. We will certainly take back such land and distribute it to the poor and landless in three months’ time,” Achuthanandan said at the end of his two-day Munnar visit.
He had said Tuesday that he saw a five-acre plot of land that the company had allegedly encroached on near here.
He gave directions to revenue officials Wednesday to take over 90 acres of land which he claimed was in the custody of the Tatas.
But Tata Tea consultant T. Damu told reporters that the company was not aware of any such plot of land.
“Moreover, there is a Kerala High Court stay order on taking over any land,” said Damu.
Earlier in the day, former deputy speaker and senior Communist Party of India leader C.A. Kurian lashed out at Achuthanandan by saying that no one was aware that the chief minister was making a visit to Munnar.
“I read it in the newspaper and those thinking of a ‘new Munnar’ are living in a fool’s paradise,” said Kurian.
Meanwhile, Achuthanandan mocked those leaders of both Communist parties who had earlier said that if the chief minister made any more visits to seize land, he would not return with his legs and arms intact.
“See, I was here for the past two days and am now going down the hill and my legs and hands are intact. A section here has vested interests and they are dancing to the tunes of the Tatas and the resort mafia. My government cannot be run on their agenda,” Achuthanandan said.
This is the second time Achuthanandan has visited Munnar in this connection. In July last year, he placed a signboard of the Kerala government on a plot of land which he said was encroached on by the Tata group firm.
The Tata Group has always said it is allowed to retain 58,741.82 acres of land under the Kannan Devan Hill (Resumption of Lands) Act, 1971, but that it actually possessed 278.23 hectares less than that.
Leader of the state opposition Oommen Chandy told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram that one can cheat everyone once, but not every time.
“Last time he did it, but today he is unable to even convince his own party and his own allies, so how will the people of Kerala believe him? We wish to know who is the owner of the land that he says he got back,” said Chandy.