Is MLA Appachu Ranjan indulging in vote bank politics?
Is Madikeri MLA Appachu Ranjan indulging in vote bank politics by blaming the environmentalists in Kodagu for coming in the way of the development of the district?
Ranjan was part of a march held in Madikeri on Friday to protest against certain environmentalists for blocking the construction of Madikeri-Kadamakal-Subramanya Road.
There is a possibility that Ranjan could get into serious trouble as the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has already urged the Court to take action against Ranjan, Speaker K.G.Bopaiah and former MLC S.G. Medappa for flouting rules in the construction of road in the Kadamakal forest.
The elected representatives who are apparently indulging in vote bank politics to gain the votes of the local villagers who would be benefited by the road across the reserve forests, have blamed the environmentalists for coming in the way of development and also accused them of receiving foreign funding for their NGOs.
The CEC had also sought action against officials, including Baladevakrishna, former deputy commissioner of Kodagu district and G. A. Sudarshan, former conservator of forests, Kodagu circle.
Col C.P. Muthanna, a leading environmentalist of Kodagu has stated: “The environmentalists are campaigning for conserving the environment in Kodagu. However, elected representatives are levelling false allegations and carrying out false propaganda against the environmentalists. Assembly Speaker Bopaiah is involved in levelling false allegations against us.”
“On the issue related to Kadamakal road, we were projected as anti-development. The road will be useful only for the rubber planters and not the villagers.”
Col Muthanna claimed that Bopaiah and MLA Appacchu Ranjan pressurised the police to file false case against Kaveri Sene convenor Ravi Chengappa when he decided to clean Bhagamandala-Talacauvery. “Illegal sand mining, illegal quarry and smuggling of timber are being carried out unabated in the district. However, there is no one to question it,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, the president of the Kodagu Zilla Panchayat, Ravi Kushalappa has called upon A.H. Vishwnath, Mysore-Kodagu MP, and M.C. Nanaiah, MLC, to come out with their views on the issue.
EDITOR’S VIEW: The elected representatives from Kodagu should behave responsibly and not instigate people to take law into their hands. When the issue of the Kadamakal-Subramanya Road is before the Supreme Court, there is no need for the elected representatives to organise rallies against the environmentalists.
Instead, Speaker Bopaiah should use his good offices to set right the Hunsur-Gonikoppal highway which is in a bad shape.
It is no secret that most of the elected representatives of Kodagu are puppets in the hand of various lobbies, especially the timber lobby.