Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's call to regulate "environmental fundamentalism" on World Environment Day today sparked a row in the ruling LDF with the second largest front partner, CPI, coming out against it.
In a Facebook post, marking the Environment Day, Vijayan said, "the misuse of raising environment conservation issues should be checked. The blind, extreme and unscientific environmental fundamentalism should also be regulated."
"The laws related to environment conservation should be made stricter, he said, adding, environment conservation without stagnating development is the objective of the LDF government.
"These two (environment conservation and development) are two sides of the same coin," Vijayan, also a CPI(M) politburo member, said.
Asserting that there is need for more research systems to deal with environment issues, the Chief Minister said experts, who made in-depth studies in the area, are the ones who have to give their opinion on the subject.
Taking strong exception to the CM's statement, senior CPI leader and former Forest minister Binoy Viswam said the 'environmental fundamentalism' remark was wrong and a seasoned communist leader like Vijayan should not have said so.
He said 'environmental fundamentalism' was a usage coined by those who tried to amass profit exploiting nature and environment.
Stating that anyone who believed in Marxist ideologies could not accept the rightist development agenda, Viswam said he was sure that Vijayan would stand with the Left concept of development.
It was not the first time that the major ruling LDF partners, CPI(M) and CPI, are locking horns over environment.
CPI state president Kanam Rajendran had come out against Pinarayi Vijayan's move to push the long pending hydro electric project at ecologically sensitive Athirappilly.
The Chief Minister had said the 163 MW project, proposed in the forest areas a decade ago, would not hinder the course of the waterfall there and there was no need for any concern.