Remove Lakshwadeep administrator, demands Congress – The Hindu

Praful Patel is a politician and is carrying out political agenda of BJP, it says

The Congress on Tuesday sought the removal of Lakshadweep administrator Praful Patel, alleging that he is not only ‘harassing’ the local people by imposing arbitrary restrictions but is also working to destroy the culture of the islands.

Addressing an online press conference, party general secretary Ajay Maken said the people of Lakshadweep are opposing the administrator’s action of allowing liquor on the islands and the proposed Prevention of Anti-Social Activity (PASA) Act.

“The administrator has been directly appointed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, as he belongs to Gujarat and had been its Home Minister. Normally bureaucrats or retired bureaucrats are appointed as administrators [of Union Territories], but this is the first time a politician has been appointed who reports to a Joint Secretary of the Union government,” Mr. Maken said.

The Congress alleged that the administrator has taken away the powers of the panchayats and has carried out demolitions of houses of locals engaged in fishing activity under the new rules.

“Praful Patel is a politician and is carrying out the political agenda of the BJP, as he hails from Gujarat and is close to Home Minister Amit Shah. He should be removed immediately as he is hurting the sentiments of the people and threatening peace in areas and its cultural heritage,” Mr. Maken said, adding that the PASA Act and the Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, 2021 should be withdrawn.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted, “I extend my full support to the people of Lakshadweep. I will always stand by you and fight for your right to protect your heritage. It is a national treasure that we all cherish.

“The people of Lakshadweep deeply understand and honour the rich natural and cultural heritage of the islands they inhabit. They have always protected and nurtured it. The BJP government and its administration have no business to destroy this heritage, to harass the people of Lakshadweep or to impose arbitrary restrictions and rules on them.”

Earlier, Congress leader K.C. Venugopal had written to President Ram Nath Kovind, asking the President to recall the administrator.

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