UDF demands introduction of harvesting machine, launches stir

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Alappuzha, Mar 19 (UNI) The Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala today defied the unofficial ban on use of paddy harvesting machines imposed by the pro-CPI(M) Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union (KSKTU) by organising a symbolic agitation at Kidangara in Kuttanad in the district.

The top leaders of the UDF, including Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala and senior leaders K M Mani and R Balakrishna Pillai, harvested paddy with the machines symbolically.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Chandy said the UDF was not against the working class, but the ''anti-farmer'' attitude of the CPI(M).

The CPI(M) leadership had failed to understand the changing times, he added.

Meanwhile, about 50 KSKTU workers assembled at the site and protested against the agitation led by Mr Chandy. The KSKTU is opposing the introduction of the harvesting machine saying that it would render a large number of farm labourers jobless.

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