Kerala: Parties team up to fight mining
Kozhikode: Leaders from various political parties joined a one-day Satyagraha at Muthukad town, near Chakkittappara, protesting against the repeated attempts by Karnataka-based MSPL Limited to start iron ore mining on Payyanikkotta hills near here on Sunday. Almost all the prominent political parties except the CPM attended the Satyagraha, aimed at creating an awareness among the locals over the issue.
Congress leader Mullappally Ramachandran, who inaugurated the satyagraha said that the government, no matter LDF or UDF, should stand against the move to allow mining in the ecologically-sensitive area. "Permission for mining cannot be allowed at all costs," he said. "Even if the company moves the High Court, the state government should be able to entrust the case with the best of the lawyers and win it."
The satyagraha on the Gandhi Jayanti day comes after reports that the MSPL company was planning to move the court on the issue. Though the state had given nod to MSPL in 2010 for mining, the permission was cancelled in 2015. In 2016, the High Court had ruled that the state government is free to take a decision after adverting to the objection and hearing the MSPL Company within one month. However, in July, a government order issued by principal secretary to government P.H. Kurian denied extension to principle approval granted to MSPL.
BJP state general secretary K. Surendran said that the CPM as well as the state government were supporting the mining company. The BJP has decided to support the fight against MSPL even if other political parties withdraw, he said. JDU leader Manayath Chandran, Congress leader T. Siddique, RMP leader K.S. Hariharan, Kerala Congress (M) leader Muhammed Iqbal, Dalit Vedi leader Manoj Koyilandy and activists C.R. Neelakantan and writer Kalpetta Narayanan also spoke.