Ram Nath Kovind Not A Consensus Candidate: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has lambasted the central and state governments for looting and oppressing Adivasis.
Ram Nath Kovind Not A Consensus Candidate: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Srinivas N

Visakhapatnam: Kerala Chief Minister and Politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Pinarayi Vijayan stated that he was opposed to the presidential candidature of Ram Nath Kovind on the grounds that the latter belonged to Sangh Parivar whose ideology they were fighting against right from the beginning. He was here on Tuesday to inaugurate the three-day conference of Adivasi Adhikar Manch (AARM).

Speaking to the press in Visakhapatnam on the sidelines of the national conference of AARM, he said the BJP did not reveal his name during its consultations with other parties and hence he was not a consensus candidate. He was here on Tuesday to inaugurate the three-day conference of AARM.

In his inaugural speech at the conference, he called upon the Adivasis to come forward to wage a militant fight for the protection of their rights. Liberalised economic policies took a serious beating on the millions of lives of Adivasis and the governments were doling out the lands Adivasis had been enjoying for a long time to corporates, he observed.

He alleged that atrocities on the Adivasis communities were on the increase in the BJP-led NDA government. Their lands were being pulled out of Adivasis and given away to corporate companies and multi-national companies. Expressing his anger over the manner in which the resolutions of grama sabhas were not being honoured by the governments, he demanded that the implementation of Forest Rights Act be reviewed. He demanded a committee be formed for such a review.

Paying homage to Alluri Seetharama Raju under whose valiant leadership the Adivasis of Andhra Pradesh fought against the British, he reminded of the various ferocious struggles of the Adivasis communities against colonial rulers.

While asserting that the discrimination against Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes did not end even today, he said they were treated like second-class citizens, he alleged.

He alleged RSS was employing NGOs for injecting religious fundamentalism among the Adivasis. Those Adivasis who were fighting for their rights were branded as Maoists by the centre, he observed. In the guise of oppressing Maoists, it was deploying police and security forces into the Adivasis regions, Vijayan alleged. Adivasi women were subjected to sexual exploitation in addition to economic plunder, he observed. Adivasis who eke out their living on forest lands were becoming migrant labourers as a result of government policies, he criticised.

He said that their government in Kerala was way ahead in implementing the ST Sub-plan, unlike others. Adivasis in Kerala were provided with exclusive schools, hospitals, he added.

CPM politburo members Brinda Karat, BV Raghavulu, national chairperson of Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch Bajban Riyan, AP Girijana Sangham State president Midiyam Baburao, secretary P.Applanarsa, Tripura MP Jitendra Choudhary were among those present at the three-day conference.

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