BJP State president K Surendran on Tuesday hinted at terror links in Lakshadweep islands and dismissed the mounting of the ‘Save Lakshadweep’ campaign by opposition parties.
He said there have been instances in which arms and ammunition were seized from the islands.
The news of the Lakshadweep administration banning the sale and consumption of beef is false propaganda, he said.
The Lakshadweep has been asking Kerala for the past 10 years to improve the basic infrastructure facilities at Beypore to help ease the movement of cargo between the mainland and the island.
But the ‘criminal negligence’ of Oommen Chandy and Pinarayi Vijayan governments made the Union Territory dependent on the port at Mangaluru in Karnataka, the BJP leader said.
BJP national vice-president A P Abdullakutty said any development activity in Lakshadweep will be undertaken only after taking the people into confidence.
Terming the ‘Save Lakshadweep’ campaign vicious, he said neither the Indian Union Muslim League nor Jamaat-e-Islami has a place in the islands.
Lakshadweep rose to national attention after its residents took to social media to protest against a slew of "unilateral, anti-people" measures taken by the Administrator Praful Koda Bhai Patel since he assumed the island's highest office last December.
The Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, or LDAR 2021, notified on the administration's website proposes to change the existing land ownership and usage in the island by giving sweeping, arbitrary, unchecked powers to the government and its allied bodies to directly interfere with the islander's right to possess and retain their property.
It empowers the government to pick any land for "development" activities provided under its regulation. The Regulation also adds that "the development plan shall not, either before or after it has been approved, be questioned in any manner, in any legal proceedings whatsoever".
LDAR is not the only concern that has invited widespread resistance from the residents of Lakshadweep. Patel, who was the former home minister of Gujarat when Narendra Modi was chief minister, has also been accused of diluting the standard operating procedure (SOP) which was in force on the island for preventing Covid spread.
The old SOP required passengers to be quarantined for seven days in guesthouses run by the UT administration in Kochi, and in two hotels taken there for the purpose, before they took an RT-PCR test.
After arriving in Agatti also, they had to undergo another 14-day quarantine. However, soon after he assumed charge in December last year, Patel did away with the quarantine period both in "mainland" India as well as in Lakshadweep.
According to the new guidelines, all that one needed to enter the Union Territory was a negative RT-PCR report from an ICMR-approved laboratory.
The islands, which were devoid of Covid cases until mid-January this year, has about 6,000 cases now with a test positivity rate of above 40 per cent.
The other controversies surrounding the current Administrator is the bizarre rule that disallows anyone with more than two kids to contest in the panchayat polls and the "animal preservation" rule that seeks to ban slaughter, transportation, selling or buying of beef products. The introduction of a Goonda Act is the island that has close to nil crime rate and revoking of restrictions on alcohol in name of tourism too have attracted widespread criticism.
Social platforms were abuzz with the #SaveLakshadweep campaign as the likes of actor Prithviraj Sukumaran and footballer CK Vineeth brought the islanders plight to national attention. Congress leaders too lashed out at the totalitarian, anti-people measures.