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Left govt in Kerala mute spectator to people affected by man-animal conflicts: Congress

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Kasaragod (Kerala), Feb 10 (PTI) The Left government in Kerala is acting as a mute spectator to the man-animal conflicts in the state that have claimed many lives and destroyed property and crops in areas close to forests, the opposition Congress said here on Saturday.

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The remarks by Leader of Opposition in the state assembly V D Satheesan came following the death of a 42-year-old man after being attacked by a wild elephant that strayed into human settlement near Mananthavady in the high-range Wayanad district this morning.

Satheesan squarely blamed state Forests Minister A K Saseendran and his department for failing to track the elephant which has a radio collar and came from the neighbouring state of Karnataka.

He alleged that neither the minister, who is also in-charge of the Wayanad district, nor his department were doing anything to save the lives and livelihoods of people living close to the forests as man-animal conflicts keep rising in the state.

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The opposition leader further alleged that the state government has not compensated anyone for several months for the loss of lives and property and crops in animal attacks.

"He (minister) is not qualified to hold the post. He should resign," Satheesan demanded while speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Congress party's party's statewide electioneering march, 'Samaragni'.

He alleged that the Left government was not looking at the people's grievances and difficulties and has "covered its eyes, ears and hearts" to the plight of those affected.

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"They (government) are not even talking of a plan or scheme to help those affected," Satheesan claimed.

As part of the 'Samaragni' campaign, the Congress will point out to the people how the government in the state has allegedly failed miserably.

"Social security schemes are in disarray and the same was pointed out to us by people who came to meet us in Kasaragod. They also said that welfare funds were not being received," he said.

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Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran too said that people blamed the ruling Left for the alleged extreme backwardness in the northernmost district of the state.

Sudhakaran further alleged that Kasaragod was most backward in terms of medical facilities and the state government was not doing anything to address that issue.

Satheesan said that the 'Samaragni' campaign, which plans to cover 20 Lok Sabha constituencies and culminate at Thiruvananthapuram on February 29, was also about the alleged divisive strategies of the central government. PTI HMP HMP ROH

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