LDF to boycott Chandy's meet

Three days ahead of an all-party meeting proposed by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on the Kasturirangan committee’s recommendations for the protection of Western Ghats, political differences have started to cloud over the possibilities of a united stand on the issue.

The opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) has decided to boycott the meeting scheduled for Monday, as part of its ongoing boycott of events attended by the “scandal-hit” chief minister.

The Left Democratic Front has also announced a dawn-to-dusk hartal in two districts – Idukki and Wayanad – on Friday. Sources said opposition parties would later convey its stand on the committee’s recommendations to the government in writing.

The Centre’s move is to classify about 60,000 square kilometre of the Ghats, spread across six states, as an ecologically sensitive area.

Chief Chandy told reporters on Thursday that compared to recommendations from the Madhav Gadgil committee, the Kasturirangan committee’s suggestions were positive for the state but had many concerns that had to be discussed and addressed after deliberations.

Chief Minister Oomen Chandy sought to end protests since it is critical that the state put forward a united opinion on the issue.

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