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UDF to blame for Centre's neglect: CPI

By Our Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, AUG. 22. The CPI State secretary, Veliyam Bhargavan, has said that the Union Government continued to neglect Kerala because there is no efficient administration in the State capable of wresting the State's due from the Centre.

"They don't see a Government here. How will they care for the State's needs?" Mr. Bhargavan asked while briefing presspersons about the two-day CPI State executive meeting that concluded here on Saturday. He said the State's failure to get drought relief assistance was suggestive of the regard the Centre had for the State administration. He, however, hoped that the Central team, scheduled to visit the State soon, would give `some assistance to the drought-hit farmers'.

Narendran panel report

The CPI leader came down heavily on the Government for not taking any decision on the Narendran Commission report on backward class representation in the State service.

The Government, he alleged, was deliberately delaying a decision in the matter. The Narendran Commission had found that backward communities such as Muslims, Latin Catholics and Dheevaras had not got the full benefit of reservation of Government jobs.

A close scrutiny of the Commission report would also show that several of these communities did not have sufficient representation in the higher tiers of the State service, he pointed out.

Mr. Bhargavan said his party was opposed to the idea of introducing economic criteria into the backward class reservation, as it would only further aggravate the plight of the backward communities. The CPI, however, wanted up to 10 per cent reservation for the poor among forward communities. He did not see any contradiction in this and said economic criteria was being insisted in the case of the forward communities because only that would help address the employment disparities among the forward communities.

Expressway project

The CPI State executive, he said, was totally opposed to the proposed limited access expressway linking the two ends of the State. The Government should give up the proposal and work on improving the condition of the highways and constructing new lanes for smooth traffic. The expressway project, involving an estimated outlay of Rs. 10,000 crores, would not give equivalent benefits. The experience of the Mumbai-Pune highway also showed that such a project would stunt the growth of the existing highways and result in accidents, he added.

Self-financing colleges

Mr. Bhargavan reiterated his party's decision to support any attempt by the State Government to get the Act on self-financing professional colleges included in the Ninth Schedule.

The party had no doubt on this issue because the incorporation of the provision for ensuring 50 per cent merit quota in all private self-financing colleges was an achievement of the struggles waged by the Opposition student organisations and political parties, Mr. Bhargavan said.

No discord in LDF

To a question on the opposition of the CPI(M) to any such move, he said it was not a matter of discord in the LDF.

The CPI leader said Opposition student organisations would not give up their agitation over the self-financing colleges issue till just solutions were found.

The coming month would see the students waging a renewed struggle on the issue all over the State, Mr. Bhargavan said.

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