New Delhi [India], May 26 (ANI): Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday slammed the central government over the issue of the appointment of Praful Patel, a BJP leader as the administrator of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.
"Lakshadweep is India's jewel in the ocean. The ignorant bigots in power are destroying it. I stand with the people of Lakshadweep," tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
According to the opposition parties like Congress and the Left, the Centre has set an unprecedented attempt by appointing a politician as the administrator of the union territory. Previously, the position used to be held by officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
Kerala Forest Minister AK Saseendran on Wednesday said the state government wants to take all necessary steps to protect the interests of Lakshadweep people within the ambit of the law, in a manner that does not undermine the dignity of democracy.
He further said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had conveyed to the Centre the sentiments of the people in the state who are standing with the people of the islands.
"The Chief Minister conveyed the thinking and emotions of the people of Kerala in this issue to the Central government. The people of Kerala and the state government are with the people of Lakshadweep. The state government wants to take all necessary steps to protect their interests within the ambit of the law and in a manner that does not undermine the dignity of democracy," Saseendran said.
Kerala Leader of Opposition (LoP) VD Satheesan on Tuesday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking the newly-appointed Administrator of Lakshadweep Praful Patel to be immediately called back as the people of the island are being subjected to his undemocratic measures.
"After the appointment of the new Administrator in the island, breaking the convention of IAS officers to the post, the people of Lakshadweep are being subjected to many undemocratic measures against which a huge resentment is growing in the island," Satheesan wrote in the letter.
"The new Administrator has interfered in the powers of District Panchayat, the only representative body of the people. In an island where there are nominal violations of the rules, the Administrator has invoked Goonda act which we feel is to suppress the voice of the people," the leader added.
He also mentioned that the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in creating a health crisis in the island.
The letter added that such actions are provoking the people of the island and their religious sentiments will cause tremendous damage to peace and tranquility in the island.
On Monday, Congress had written to President Ram Nath Kovind alleging that the current Administrator of Lakshadweep Praful Patel had taken "authoritarian measures" and demanded his recall.
In a letter written to the President, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said that there is apprehension among the people of Lakshadweep and resultant widespread protests "owing to the authoritarian measures taken by the current Administrator Praful Patel". (ANI)