In Lakshadweep, Patel’s policies reveal shades of Kashmir experience, real model is Gujarat: CPI(M)

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New Delhi, May 27 (PTI) In Muslim majority Lakshadweep, Administrator Praful Patel’s policies reveal “shades of the Kashmir experience” but the “real model” being pursued is the “Gujarat one”, the CPI(M) said on Thursday, demanding his removal.

Accusing Patel of “foisting” a “mixture of Hindutva and neoliberalism” in the union territory, the latest editorial of People’s Democracy, the CPI(M) mouthpiece, said the people are being subjected to a “ruthless regime” which seeks to deprive them of their way of life, livelihood, food and cultural rights.

“In a Muslim majority territory, Patel’s policies reveal shades of the Kashmir experience, but the real model being pursued is the Gujarat one - a developmental model destructive of the environment, the imposition of Hindutva values on a minority community, ruthless suppression of dissent and a callous disregard for human life during a pandemic,” it said.

The editorial said that The Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation which would enable the removal or relocation of people from their property for town planning or other developmental activities was “Draconian”.

“The plague on the island did not come in the form of the COVID-19 virus first, but when a new administrator took charge in December 2020…He is now foisting the Gujarat model on Lakshadweep - a mixture of Hindutva and neoliberalism. Bearing the brunt of this Hindutva experiment are the people of Lakshadweep who are 99 per cent Muslims,” it said.

It alleged that some of the policies are a “calculated effort” to attack the minority community, specially the panchayat law which is being amended to prohibit anyone who has more than two children from contesting elections.

“This again is motivated by the stereotype of Muslims having more than two children.

“Lakshadweep, which was a peaceful haven, has been turned into a cauldron of unrest due to the Hindutva experiment of the administrator, who is an agent of the Modi-Shah duo….,” the editorial alleged.

The party, which is in power in Kerala after an unprecedented victory, said in the battle of the people of the UT against these policies, they were not alone.

“They are not fighting this onslaught alone. Kerala which has close traditional and cultural ties with Lakshadweep (the people speak a dialect of Malayalam) has risen as a whole in defence of the rights of the people of the islands. Every political and social organisation (except the BJP and RSS) have expressed solidarity with the people of Lakshadweep.

“The demand that Patel be withdrawn as administrator is gathering pace,” it said PTI ASG RHL AQS AQS

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