Kerala to Provide Legal Protection to Pepsi
Times News Network
May 16, 2003

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister A K Antony on Friday said the state government would provide all possible legal protection to the Pepsi company at Kanjikode in Palakkad district whose licence had been cancelled by the local panchayat controlled by CPI-M.

"The decision of the Pudussery village Panchayat to revoke the licence has not been received by the government," Antony said at a 'meet-the-chief minister programme', organised by the Thiruvananthapuram press club here.

Lashing out at the CPI-M for continuing its stir of boycotting multinational products in the state, Antony said the party should shed its "double standards" on the issue and should be "more truthful in its approach."

The Pepsi company came to the state during LDF regime and now LDF was opposing the company. "However, we are not going to do anything to push them away from the state," he said.

In West Bengal, there were three Pepsi units and two Coca-Cola units. CPI-M was boycotting the products of these companies in the state while allowing the companies in West Bengal, he said, adding CPI-M's "attitude was against the development of the state."

The main reason cited for cancellation of licence was "over-exploitation of water resources." The Panchayat decision also forms part of CPI-M's policy of boycotting the products of multinationals in the wake of the US war on Iraq.

Meanwhile, Pepsico said in a release it started the unit after a due survey by the department concerned on availability of water and denied the panchayat charge that the company was over-exploiting water resources in the area.

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