PM Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari should hold talks with farm unions: NCP chief Sharad Pawar

MUMBAI: NCP president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday criticised the Lakshadweep administrator over his decisions, saying that they would lead to destruction of traditional means of livelihood and unique culture of the island.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pawar sought his intervention, and said the decisions taken by the administrator were ‘unwarranted and irrational’.

Praful Khoda Patel, the administrator of Daman and Diu, was in December last year given the additional charge of Lakshadweep.

His new regulations, including Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation 2021, Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation 2021 and changing of COVID 19 SoPs, under which RT-PCR test was made mandatory for outsiders, have been opposed.

“These decisions taken by the Lakshadweep administrator would lead to destruction of traditional means of livelihood and the unique culture of Lakshadweep. It has already resulted in a huge unrest and protest,” Pawar said.

The former Union minister demanded that the orders and decisions taken by the incumbent authority of Lakshadweep administration be re-examined and necessary directions be passed to the Lakshadweep administration to withdraw the unreasonable and unwarranted orders.

The appointment of a new administrator, who works in close co-operation with people’s representatives and takes a holistic approach to work with the native people, will be highly appreciated, he said in the letter.

Pawar sought the prime minister’s intervention to resolve the crisis.

The NCP chief also highlighted that the issues raised by his party MP Mohammed Faisal on the decisions of the administrator, and sought the PM’s intervention.

Earlier in the day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi threw his weight behind the people of Lakshadweep as he accused the “ignorant bigots in power” of destroying the islands.

His statement came a day after the Congress demanded the immediate removal of Lakshadweep administrator, alleging he is not only destroying the peace and culture of the islands, but also “harassing” the people by imposing arbitrary restrictions.

The Congress has also alleged that the administrator is allowing liquor on the islands, which is prohibited till now, and has brought in the Prevention of Anti-Social Activity (PASA) Act with the objective of harassing locals, besides taking away powers of panchayats and is carrying out demolitions under new provisions brought in by him.