Iyer criticises PM on Endosulfan issue, Left MPs protest
Kochi/New Delhi: Noted Jurist V R Krishna
Iyer criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his
"unfeeling indifference" to Kerala's request for a country
wide ban on Endosulfan, even as Left MPs held a protest on Tuesday
in Parliament House to press for the ban.
A petition was also moved in the Supreme Court by a
youth wing of CPI-M seeking a ban on sale and production of
this pesticide across the country.
Throwing his weight behind the strident demand in Kerala
for the ban of this pesticide, Iyer, a former Supreme Court
judge, said, "I disapprove of the Prime Minister's unfeeling
indifference to the request of all the Kerala Ministers
jointly requesting the ban of the dangerous and deleterious
Endosulfan most harmful to human life."
"The Prime Minister's attitude is violative of the right
to life of the Indian people and to continue the manufacture
and distribution of Endosulfan is unfortunate and violative of
Article 21," he said in a statement in Kochi.
Iyer backed the protest against the use of the pesticide
led by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan who observed a
day-long fast yesterday.
It is "shameful and shocking" that India should be the
largest consumer of Endosulfan while more than 63 countries,
including the European Union, Australia and New Zealand have
banned it, he said and appealed to the Prime Minister to stop
immediately the manufacture and sale of Endosulfan.
Demanding a reversal of "pro-endosulfan" stand, six Left
MPs from Kerala shot off a letter to the Prime Minister asking
him to instruct India's representatives at Stockholm
Convention to speak against the "killer pesticide" and press
for a total global ban.
They alleged that the government has "unfortunately"
taken a "pro-endosulfan" stand at international fora.
The six MPs, who along with other Left lawmakers
protested inside Parliament House premises early today, said
thousands of people, including children, in Kerala's Kasargode
due to the "evil effects" of endosulfan.
The letter was signed by P Karunakaran, P Rajeev, P K
Biju, T N Seema, M P Achutan and A Sampath.
By opposing the ban, the MPs alleged that the government
was "allowing" multinational companies to "plunder the
Addressing the protesting Left MPs, CPI(M) Polit Bureau
member Sitaram Yechury said 84 countries have banned the
pesticide and they are "not fools" do so.
"We demand a nationwide ban on the pesticide. Why have
84 countries ban it? Why is the government hesitant? That is
why we suspect that another scam is waiting to happen.
He said the Left was not politicising the issue as
alleged by Congress. "We are just raising a humanitarian
issue," he said.
The petitition in the Apex Court filed by Democratic
Youth Federation of India (DYFI) sought a direction to the
Centre to prohibit the sale of Endosulfan in its present form
or any other derivatives in the market.