The war of words between VS Sunil Kumar and Additional Chief Secretary PH Kurien was sparked over paddy cultivation in Kuttanad.

Officials shouldnt speak against govt policies Kerala Agri Min attacks top bureaucrat
news Politics Sunday, September 09, 2018 - 07:58

A war of words broke out between Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar and Additional Chief Secretary PH Kurien, over paddy cultivation in the state, with the former accusing the latter of indulging in gross indiscipline by speaking out against the state’s policies.

At a meeting recently, Kurien said that it was foolish to waste money by engaging in paddy cultivation in the Kuttanad area.

"For the Agriculture Minister, increasing paddy cultivation is a vow. Paddy cultivation in Kuttanad is garnering negative returns. This happens even after the government provides subsidy in fertilizer and also for pumping operations. The best bet in Kuttanad would be to concentrate in tourism, fishing or drinking water projects," Kurien had said.

Now, Sunil Kumar hit back on Saturday accusing Kurien of supporting those sections that are propagating fish farming and tourism in the region, in place of paddy cultivation. He claimed that people wanting to exploit Kuttanad were behind the campaign against paddy.

Speaking to the media, he said, “The government’s policy is to promote paddy cultivation in Kuttanad and not fishing or tourism.”

"As a senior government official, the Additional Chief Secretary is expected to defend the governmental policies, even though he may be cherishing other dreams internally. He cannot be speaking out against the known governmental policies, while availing tax payers’ money as salary,” the Minister said, adding, “This will be brought to the notice of the Chief Minister as a state government official has to implement the policies of the government. No official should blabber at the expense of the government.”

However, Sunil Kumar’s complaint will have to wait as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is in the US for treatment now.

Earlier, Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan had hit out at Kurien, criticising him for not acting upon illegal encroachments in Munnar and other areas.

With IANS inputs

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