Kochi: Congress in Kerala on Saturday admitted
there had been `lapses` on dealing with the Endosulfan issue
on which Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan had campaigned
vigorously seeking a countrywide ban on the pesticide.
With the Stockholm Convention at Geneva adopting a
resolution to phase out the toxic pesticide,the KPCC executive
meeting held here felt that the Left could gain political
mileage out of the issue though it was Centre which "gave the
nod to the decision to ban the pesticide all over the world."
The KPCC admitted it could not put up a strong defence
against Achuthanandan`s campaign on the Endosulfan issue.
There had been "lapses" on the part of the Congress in
dealing with the matter, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala
told reporters here.
"However, India has reached a consensus with other parties
concerned on the ban and a solution had been found to mitigate
the sufferings of people in our state," he said.
He said the UDF would discuss the complaints raised by K
Achuthan, candidate for Chittur in Palakkad, against Socialist
Janata-Democratic leader K Krishnan Kutty that he had worked
against Front candidates in the district.
Chennithala said Congress was capable of overcoming the
`false` camapigns being raised against the party after the
recent Assembly elections.
CPI-M-led LDF has been asking the Centre to ban Endosulfan
which had allegedly caused over 400 deaths and serious health
problems to 4,000 people in parts of Kasargode in north
Kerala, where the pesticide was sprayed in a state-run cashew
plantation. Endosulfan was banned in the state in 2005.
It had called a dawn-to-dusk hartal yesterday, demanding
countrywide ban on the pesticide coinciding with the final day
of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
Achuthanandan, who has been spearheading the campaign
against Endosulfan for the last several years, hailed the
Geneva outcome and had said "the pesticide lobby had to
finally surrender before people`s movement."