The BJP national secretary and the leader of the Nandigram agitation Rahul Sinha told in Keezhattoor that farmers’ agitation under the banner of ‘Vayalkkili’ (birds of the paddy fields) is exactly similar to the Nandigram agitation that took place in Bengal. The latter put an end to the decades-long CPM rule in the state.
Sinha was addressing a farmers’ rally on Tuesday organized by ‘Vayalkkili Movement’ and BJP in Keezhattoor where CPM-led LDF regime is using force to drive the farmers from their land and construct a highway bypass there. Sinha flagged off the March by handing over the flag to P.K. Krishnadas, BJP national executive member and former state president.
The septuagenarian CPM leader and the leader of the Keezhattoor agitation Nambradath Janaki Amma gave a bunch of paddy plants and a cap made of spathe of Areca nut trees, to Sinha. CPM leader Keezhattoor Suresh administered the oath of environment protection to the crowd of thousands of people. Sinha gifted a handful of soil brought from Nandigram, the land of the bloodbath, to Janaki Amma. Then the participants performed Bhoomivandan before they started the march.
After flagging off the ‘Karshaka Raksha March’ (farmers’ march) Sinha urged the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to put an end to his anti-farmers policy in the state. He said that the CPM is digging its own grave in Keezhattoor. Their fate in the state will be the same as they faced in Bengal.
The local farmers have been protesting for the last one year to protect the paddy fields and the water bodies from government acquisition for the construction of NH bypass. The agitation has found support from several environmental and cultural organisations and BJP. Sinha said that the BJP is giving its wholehearted support to the agitation because it is for the rights of the farmers and for their land.
Interestingly, Keezhattor is a CPM party village where non-CPM organizations never enjoyed any fundamental right of freedom of expression or organization. CPM has left no stone unturned to dissuade the farmers from the agitation. Influence, threat and money have been the methodologies deployed to stop the protesting farmers.
Sinha said that the CPM-LDF government in Kerala is trying to grab the farmers’ land. Keezhattor agitation is the farmers’ battle for their birth land. CPM aims at a Rs 300 crores corruption by filling the paddy fields and taking the Keezhattoor soil to somewhere else. When BJP initiated this fight Congress and others followed suit. They may drop after a while, but, BJP will stick on to this fight until the farmers win Sinha explained. “CPM is scared of BJP’s agitation hence they are marching in Kannur district. Such CPM-led marches should be renamed as ‘marches of apology to the farmers’ he said.
Suresh Keezhattoor said that ‘Vayalkkilis’ can, by all means, agitate along with RSS and BJP just like CPM leader T.N. Seema joined hands with BJP leaders in the anti-Aranmula airport agitation couple of years ago. He was ridiculing CPM leadership’s criticism against him for joining hands with RSS in the agitation.
The march covered 21km to reach Kannur where it culminated and held a public meeting. Hundreds of women and children participated in the march. Apart from state BJP leaders, BJYM leaders, Mahila Morcha state president Renu Suresh and noted filmmaker Ali Akbar, environment scientist Dr C.M. Joy and several public figures participated in the march.
Speaking at the valedictory public meeting Krishnadas appealed to the government to stop the bypass construction immediately. He said, “They are constructing ‘mafia pass’. The ‘Vayalkkili’ agitation is for the preservation of paddy fields and water bodies and the culture of the farmers. CPM aims at the destruction of these treasures. They are like locusts. CM Vijayan should settle the burning Keezhattoor issue through democratic discussions. He should liberate his party from the clutches of land mafia. The Keezhattor agitation is for the sake of food, air and water.”
Former BJP state president C.K. Padmanabhan said, “CPM does not know history. They should accept it and opt for self-introspection. ‘Karshaka March’ upholds the farmer’s determination to fight until they win. CPM’s arrogance complicates Keezhattoor issue. They are converting this village into another Nandigram or Singur.”
It cannot be denied that the CPM has shut a blind eye to the scientific fact that one acre of paddy filed can conserve 9 lakhs litres of water. Though the party’s election manifesto issued before the 2016 assembly polls had said paddy cultivation will be encouraged to the maximum possible extent and paddy cultivators will be given royalty for their agriculture. But, once they came into power, they conveniently forgot their pet slogans. It won’t be a surprise if this issue leads CPM-led LDF regime to a ‘Waterloo’.