Lakshadweep admin ducks travel to island via Kochi as Congress MPs wait in vain

Praful Khoda Patel, Hibi Eden
Praful Khoda Patel, Hibi Eden

Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel on Monday appears to have ducked his travel to the island through the Cochin International Airport even as Congress Lok Sabha members waited for him.

Hibi Eden and T N Prathapan, both Congress Lok Sabha members from Kerala, had arrived in the VVIP lounge of the airport after getting information that Patel was arriving there on a special flight and would fly to the island.

"We had information that Patel would land here on a special flight and from here would take a scheduled Air India ATR flight to the island. But after we reached here, we found out that he is not landing here instead is flying from Daman and Diu," said Eden.

Patel is expected to be in the island till June 20.

"All know that we (Congress) are on a protest against the new reforms of the administrator, which is against the interests of the islanders. We came to meet him to request him to allow a delegation of Congress MPs to visit the island and also to see that no new rules should be enacted which do not have the concurrence of the islanders," added Eden, who represents the Ernakulam Lok Sabha constituency, where the Lakshadweep has a full fledged office.

The "Save Lakshadweep Forum", an umbrella group of local activists and opposition politicians who have been in the forefront of agitations against the new reforms of the administrator, had already announced that they would stage protest marches in the island, the day when Patel arrives.

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