Achuthanandan renews campaign against Tata TeaSeptember 30th, 2008 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS
Munnar (Kerala), Sep 30 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Tuesday renewed his charges against Tata Tea, saying he saw the plot of land that the company had allegedly encroached near here.”I saw a five-acre plot of land encroached by the Tatas. Tomorrow I will visit other parts of Munnar. State Forest Minister Binoy Viswom and Backward Classes Minister A.K. Balan will accompany me. If you give a list of encroachments, I will also look into those cases,” Achuthanandan told reporters here after his field visit.
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 by the Tata group firm.
Tata Tea managing director P.T. Siganporia had then said that the land which Achuthanandan symbolically reclaimed for the state never belonged to the company but was owned by the state forest department itself.
Achuthanandan has maintained that the Tatas have occupied a huge piece of land that belongs to the state government.
The Tatas, on the other hand, say they possess 58,741.82 acres of land, which they are allowed to retain under the Kannan Devan Hill (Resumption of Lands) Act, 1971, and there is a shortage of 278.23 hectares in that.
Unlike on his last visit, local legislator S. Rajendran of Achuthanandan’s Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and district leaders did not accompany him.
“You please don’t worry about such things. Those needed were with me,” said Achuthanandan and ended his press conference.
State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala described Achuthanandan’s Munnar visit as a political gimmick for cheap publicity.
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