Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who has been campaigning for long against illegal land grabbing in Kerala, landed in soup after the state revenue department found that his luxury resort in Kumarakom encroached into Vembanad Lake, one of the three Ramsar sites in Kerala.
The Kumarakom Panchayat in which the palatial resort is situated, has issued a notice to the Niraamaya Retreats asking it to raze down the encroachments with in two weeks.
The state revenue department has confirmed that a portion of the resort, situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom, Kottayam district is illegally occupying public land, including Kayal (lake) poramboke.
Earlier this week, activists of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of the CPM, took out a procession to the resort and vandalised it. They wanted the government to take back the land encroached upon and to take legal action against the MP, who is also the vice chairman of the BJP-led NDA in Kerala.
The DYFI also claimed that the resort violated Kerala Paddy and Wetland Conservation Act. The allegations gain political gravity as Thomas Chandy of NCP had to quit the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF ministry recently after he faced similar allegations of land grab. Chandy was forced to put in his papers after it was found that his resort in Alappuzha encroached public land in Alappuzha.
Now in what appears to be confirming the encroachment of the land, Kumarakom village panchayat secretary has served a notice to the resort owned by the MP to demolish the part of the structure in the encroached land. The notice issued by the panchayat orders the buildings and adjoining walls of the Niraamaya Retreats, owned by Chandrasekhar's firm Jupiter Capital, must be removed within 15 days.
In response to the allegations, Chandrasekhar informed IBTimes India, " This is not the first time I am a target of political violence or political lies and attacks and certainly it will not be the last. This is an obvious sloppy attempt to distract away from the recent embarrassment of a sitting Left Minister who had encroached public land in particular and about CM Pinarayi Vijayan's govts pathetic track record on corruption and Governance with 3 ministers having to resign in just over a year. Please don't miss the delicious irony of all this as Left presides over rampant encroachment by political cronies in Munnar etc."
He had also tweeted that, "First vandalize n try n intimidate. When tht doesnt work issue a pathetic pathetic notice n even in the notice say encrochmnt is ridiculous 0.0044x0.0055 sqm - even tht ridiculously low number is made up n a lie."
Chandrasekhar, in a series of tweets earlier said that the left government in Kerala was trying to intimidate him for raising voice against land encroachments in Munnar.
"More #LeftViolence in #Kerala – stung by unrelenting media coverage n my #NGT petition on his complicity in #Munnar encroachmnt – @CMOKerala @vijayanpinarayi unleashes his goons on company linked to me !," he said in one tweet.