Who Is Praful Khoda Patel, Lakshadweep Administrator Facing Protests?

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New Delhi, May 27: Praful Khoda Patel, the newly-appointed Administrator of Lakshadweep Islands, is at the centre of a political controversy due to his recent decisions. There has been a lot of discontent in the Muslim-majority Lakshadweep Islands after Praful Khoda Patel banned beef consumption, removed non-vegetarian food from meals for students, proposed changes in the existing land ownership and usage rules, and lifted restrictions on opening of liquor shops. Lakshadweep MP Seeks Recall of Administrator Praful Khoda Patel.

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Among Patel's contentious steps is his proposal to implement the anti-social Activities Regulation Bill, 2021, which is called Goonda Act, despite the fact that Lakshadweep is one of the places where the crime rate is already very low. The Congress has alleged that Patel is trying to destroy the cultural heritage of the UT and urged President Ram Nath Kovind to remove the Administrator. Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Patel’s Orders 'Unnecessary', Sharad Pawar Writes to PM Narendra Modi.

Who Is Praful Khoda Patel?

Praful Khoda Patel is a former leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Born on August 28 in 1957, Patel first won the assembly election in Gujarat from Himmat Nagar. He had served as Home Minister of Gujarat when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister of the state. He was made the Home Minister in 2010 after Amit Shah was arrested in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. He held the post till 2012.

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Patel was appointed the administrator of Daman and Diu in 2016. After Dadra and Nagar Haveli was merged with the Union Territory of Daman and Diu, he became its first Administrator in January 2020. His appointment raised eyebrows because usually an Indian Administrative Service officer becomes Administrator. Patel is no stranger to controversies. His name had surfaced in the alleged suicide of Dadra and Nagar Haveli MP Mohan Delkar.

According to a report, Delkar's son Abhinav alleged that Patel had harassed his father and was forcing him to pay Rs 25 crore or face a false case under the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act. Patel had also made to news when as Administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu, he issued a notice to collector Kannan Gopinathan for "not complying" with his instructions on various "official works".

Gopinathan, who was also the then returning officer for Dadra and Nagar Haveli in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, had lodged a complaint after which the Election Commission asked Patel to withdraw his notice, The Print reported.

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