National

Local BJP unit too up in arms, seeks Modi’s support

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on May 25, 2021

Praful Patel

Schemes, projects stopped, teachers terminated, schools closed, it laments

It’s not just the Opposition parties in Lakshadweep who are unhappy with Administrator Praful Patel, even the BJP unit there has approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding a review of decisions taken by Patel.

In a letter to Modi, BJP general secretary of the islands HK Mohammed Kasim said Patel did not support or appreciate the efforts of the BJP leadership to reach out to more people in the islands. Echoing the sentiments raised by the Opposition parties, he claimed the Lakshadweep Administration has stopped all welfare programmes and schemes by various departments. and made routine life more difficult for the people.

‘Schemes stopped’

“The support given to local farmers, like cattle feed, poultry feed, supply of hatching eggs, one-day-old chicks, improved variety of vegetable seeds, fertiliser and farming implements, though all were on payment, have now been stopped by the Administration without any discussion with the stakeholders or with the district or village panchayat. The Member of Parliament has also not been consulted before taking such harsh decisions,” Kasim claimed in the letter.

He said the decision to stop all ongoing projects has adversely affected construction workers, engineers and the local civil work contractors. “As per the prevailing procedure of the Lakshadweep Administration, most of the works are awarded on full cost basis, hence these contractors have availed huge bank loans to take up such government works,” he said.

‘Jobs lost’

According to Kasim, the administration terminated more than 500 casual workers and temporary employees who were in continuous service for years and some for than 10 years. “More than 40 teacher were terminated from service much before the completion of contract period. Further, payments of salary / wages of large numbers of temporary employees/workers have been denied due to refusal to approve such sanctions by the Administration,” he said. Recruitment to regular vacancies have been stopped for the last two years, he added. He said the decision to permanently close large number of schools will adversely affect the children in these islands. “We are also of doubt whether the current 100 per cent enrolment maintained till now will be continued when such large number of schools are being permanently closed,” he said.

He charged that Patel has not visited these islands for the last two months. “The Administration is almost at a standstill for the last few months as implementation of all the developmental and welfare programmes have been stopped from the date the present Regime took over governance of the UT of Lakshadweep,” he said.

Published on May 25, 2021

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