KL This Week: MNREGA Workers Protest Against Central Govt; Condemn Delay in Payment of Wages
Image by R Prakash
NewsClick brings you a round-up of the key developments from across Kerala in the past week, including the inauguration of Nava Kerala Sadas, a discussion on development in each Assembly constituency with the participation of the entire Cabinet, a protest by Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) workers against non-payment of wages, and handover of the 25 houses constructed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] for landslide victims in Kottayam district.
NAVA KERALA SADAS INAUGURATED
The public outreach programme, 'Nava Kerala Sadas,' conceived by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the Manjeswaram Assembly constituency on November 18. The programme will conclude in the Vattiyoorkavu Assembly constituency on December 23, after covering all 140 Assembly constituencies in the state. The entire Cabinet is expected to be present throughout the programme to discuss concerns raised by different population sections and chart new development plans.
People can submit complaints at designated counters for women, senior citizens, and differently-abled persons, expecting the district authorities to resolve them within four weeks. The opposition block, the United Democratic Front (UDF), has decided to boycott the programme, accusing the LDF government of using the campaign ahead of the parliamentary elections.
MGNREGA WORKERS PICKET UNION GOVT OFFICES
The NREGA Workers’ Union picketed central government offices in all village panchayats across Kerala, urging the Union government to stop destroying the scheme, among other demands. The protest addressed long-pending demands of the workers, including an increase in daily wages to Rs 600, increased budget allocation, and an increase in the number of working days to 200 to reduce rural poverty.
The NREGA Workers’ Union and the All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU) have been protesting against the BJP government’s decision to reduce budget allocation, impose online attendance, allocate works to differently-abled persons, and the inordinate delay in disbursal of wages to the workers.
CPI(M) HANDS OVER 25 HOUSES IN KOTTAYAM
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan handed over the keys to 25 houses to the beneficiaries, constructed by the Kottayam district committee of the CPI(M). The 25 families lost their homes in the landslide in Kootikal village on October 16, 2021. Named EMS Nagar, after the former chief minister and senior leader of the CPI(M), E M S Namboothiripad, the funds for the construction of the houses were mobilised from the members of the party from the district and contributions from the class and mass organisations of the party. The foundation for the construction of the houses was laid by Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the late secretary of the CPI(M), on February 24, 2022.
PALESTINE SOLIDARITY PROTESTS CONTINUE
The CPI(M) has announced the conduct of Palestine solidarity rallies and public gatherings across all the districts. After the first massive meeting in Kozhikode, similar gatherings were held in Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram districts. The gathering saw the participation of constituent parties of the LDF, and social, cultural, and religious organisations. The rallies saw widespread participation from students, youth, and workers in all the venues. The participants carried large banners and placards demanding that Israel end the inhuman attacks on the innocent children and women of Palestinian territories.
Inaugurating the solidarity meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Union government—“backed by the Sangh Parivaar”—of supporting Israel, despite consistent support to Palestine for several decades.
“The establishment of diplomatic ties during the regime of P V Narasimha Rao and the strengthening of ties now is the result of the rulers submitting to the pressure of the US,” Vijayan said. Leaders of the political parties and social organisations condemned the attacks on hospitals, refugee camps, and residential areas in Gaza. The gatherings called upon the international community to bring peace to the region and assure the Palestinian people of their motherland, ending the occupation of Israel.
TOURISM INVESTORS’ MEET
The TIM, held for the first time in the state, has attracted around Rs 15,117 crores as investment offers in the tourism sector. The meet aimed to strengthen the tourism and hospitality sector after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with Tamara Leisure Experiences, a Bengaluru-based firm for Rs 250 crore houseboat hotel projects in Alappuzha and Kannur districts. The one-day meet saw the participation of around 500 investors and entrepreneurs, including 118 investors from the Responsible Tourism Sector and 46 startups. The tourism department proposed 23 projects, with 16 projects proposed under public-private partnerships, with an investment of Rs 2511.1 crores. Another set of 21 projects also secured Rs 12,605.55 crores.
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