Leh (Ladakh) [India], July 4 (ANI): Hitting out at the Lakshadweep administration over denial of entry permit to the Union Territory (UT), Congress MP TN Prathapan questioned how his visit will be a law and order issue and said that his party is submitting an appeal to the administrator.
He added if the administrator also does the same then they will approach the state high court and raise the Lakshadweep issue in Parliament.
"Collector says it will be a law and order issue if we visit islands. How? Interacting with fellow citizens is not a law and order issue. We are submitting an appeal to the Administrator. If he also does the same, we will approach HC and raise the Lakshadweep issue in Parliament," said Prathapan while speaking to ANI.
The rejection is a clear "violation of the privileges" of the Parliament members, he added.
Alleging that the administration of the UT is trying to hide the ground reality, and are thus afraid of allowing the Congress MPs to visit the Island, Prathapan said, "We will not rest till the issues of the people of Lakshadweep are solved. We will definitely go there and listen to the people, and we will expose the administration. We will continue the fight for the justice of people of the UT at any cost."
Denying entry permission to Congress lawmakers Hibi Eden and TN Prathapan, the Lakshadweep administration on Saturday termed their visit as a part of a planned effort to "disturb peaceful atmosphere" prevailing in Lakshadweep and said it can cause a possible "surge in COVID-19 cases".
The administration further added that the purpose of the visit of the MPs -- "to understand problems faced by islanders due to new policies of administration" -- appears to be a "political action".
Last month, there had been an uproar against Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel over the new reforms introduced by him, which many allege are against the interest of the islanders.
People are protesting against the draft legislations like Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (Goonda Act), Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, and Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation, 2021 among others.
As per the administration's order, the MPs visit is "likely to cause unrest".
"It is stated that the proposed visit of MPs from Kerala to Lakshadweep is likely to cause unrest in the islands as the political parties and leaders from the mainland have been making attempts to instigate local people, political parties/activists, social workers and people from different walks of life to oppose all administrative actions and to agitate against the Administration," said Lakshadweep Additional District Magistrate S Asker Ali in the order.
Patel, who was appointed as the Administrator of Lakshadweep in December 2020, is facing opposition over policies introduced by him from the people of the union territory and politicians, both from within Lakshadweep and the neighbouring state of Kerala. (ANI)