Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said the recent decisions taken by the administrator of Union Territory Lakshadweep would lead to the destruction of traditional means of livelihood and unique culture of the island, PTI reported. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pawar sought his intervention, and said the decisions taken by the administrator were “unwarranted and irrational”.
Pawar’s criticism of Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel is in line with the Opposition parties demand of his removal from the post, accusing him of harassing local people and destroying the heritage of the island territory. Opposition leaders have alleged that Patel, who had served as Gujarat home minister, is carrying out the political agenda of the Bharatiya Janata Party to target Lakshadweep’s large Muslim population.
Patel has introduced a slew of regulations in the first five months of his tenure, triggering a massive outcry on social media. This includes a proposed cow slaughter ban, a preventive detention law in the Union Territory with one of the lowest crime rates in the country and a draft law proposing sweeping changes in land development regulations.
In his letter, Pawar demanded that the orders and decisions taken by the Lakshadweep administration be re-examined and necessary directions be passed to withdraw them. Pawar also sought the the appointment of a new administrator “who works in close co-operation with people’s representatives and takes a holistic approach to work with the native people”.
Apart from the Opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lakshadweep unit General Secretary HK Mohammed Kasim has also sought the review of the decisions taken by Patel. In a letter to Modi, Kasim said that Patel did not support or appreciate the efforts of the saffron party to reach out to people about the new regulations. On Wednesday, eight members of the BJP’s youth wing in Lakshadweep resigned in protest against Patel’s “undemocratic actions”.