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‘Patel Is Running Lakshadweep Like a King’: 8 BJP Members Resign

Former General Secretary Mohammad Hashim said, “Patel’s measures will lead to job losses and harassment of people.”

Updated
India
3 min read
As outrage grows against Lakshadweep administrator Praful K Patel, eight members of the Bharatiya Janta Party’s (BJP) youth wing have resigned.
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As outrage grows against Lakshadweep administrator Praful K Patel and his “undemocratic actions”, eight members of the Bharatiya Janta Party’s (BJP) youth wing have resigned, including the General Secretary PP Mohammad Hashim, as per a letter shared by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.

A former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Patel, who has held the post for the last five months, has outraged the islands with his reforms — ranging from a beef ban to a draconian Goonda Act (despite the territory recording the lowest crime rate).

As the hashtag, #SaveLakshadweep took over social media platforms, several Rajya Sabha members from Kerala wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind asking Patel to be recalled, and voiced their concern over Patel’s ‘anti-people’ and ‘authoritarian’ policies.

BJP Split Over Patel’s Policies

Saying that Patel is running Lakshadweep like a king, Hashim was quoted as saying, “Patel’s measures will lead to job losses and harassment of people. He has not discussed the measures with the leaders here nor taken anyone into confidence,” Indian Express reported.

BJP Lakshadweep unit president Abdul Khader Haji, however, backs Patel saying that his measures will bring development into the islands.

He added, “Patel has been sent by the Centre and he won’t take any steps to harm the islands,” Indian Express reported. He also claimed that the Opposition is raising their voice only to “prevent BJP’s growth”.

However, Khader added that, “In a Muslim-dominated place, there cannot be a ban on beef. Some land rules proposed are not good either. But we always have the option of rejecting such proposals. There should be talks over them,” he was quoted as saying.

Among the new laws, the regulation that has outraged the islanders the most is the draft, Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (LDAR) 2021.

The draft notification states that the government has powers “to acquire, hold, manage, and dispose of property, movable or immovable, as it may deem necessary”.

Lakshadweep Janata Dal (United) (JDU) President Dr Mohammed Siddique told The Quint that LDAR 2021 is a cut-paste copy of other so-called development models.

“How will you build railways on such small islands? How will you have national highways? There is no scope, but since Patel has come, he has been issuing such orders. These go to the Home Ministry for approval. If this continues, Lakshadweep’s ecology will be destroyed,” he said.

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The New Administration Is Harmful to the Peace of Lakshadweep

Besides Hashim, former state vice-president MC Muthukoya, ex-treasurer B Shukoor, former president MI Mohammed and members, PP Jamhar, Anwar Hussain, Afsal N, and Ramees N sent a joint resignation to BJP National Vice President saying, “We are resigning as the one-sided decisions taken by the new administration is harmful to the peace of Lakshadweep,” members wrote in a letter on 24 May.

Rahul Gandhi wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, 26 May, saying, “The administrator’s attempt to undermine ecological sanctity of the island is evident in the draft of Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation issued recently. The provisions undermine safegaurds pertaining to land ownership, diluting environmental regulations, and severely limiting legal recourse to affected persons,” Gandhi wrote in his letter.

Earlier Kerala Chief Minister Pinrayi Vijayan, tweeted in support of Lakshadweep and said, “Challenges imposed on their lives, livelihoods, and culture cannot be accepted.”

Tharoor also tweeted to express his dismay over Patel’s actions and said, “Today the protests have become a storm. The government has to intervene. We are destroying a peaceful part of the country where peace, communal harmony, and calm reigned undisturbed. Stop the rot!” Tharoor tweeted.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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