The hartal will be from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 12.

Protesting the alleged neglect shown towards Alappuzha by Finance Minister K.M. Mani in the alteration Budget presented on Friday, the Left Democratic Front has called for a hartal in the district on July 12.

The hartal will be from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m..

Earlier, addressing a press conference here on Saturday, T.M. Thomas Isaac and G. Sudhakaran, MLAs, said there was a blanket cancellation by Mr. Mani of all developmental projects that were announced by Dr. Isaac in his Budget earlier this year.

Alleging that this smacked of an attempt at revenge on the people of Alappuzha, who had leaned heavily to the Left during the recent Assembly elections, Dr. Isaac and Mr. Sudhakaran said it was unfortunate that Union Minister of State for Power K.C. Venugopal and other Congress leaders from the district were keeping quiet on the issue.

Pointing out that the Alappuzha Special Health Package, on which Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had convened two meetings here recently, was not even mentioned by Mr. Mani, Mr. Sudhakaran said there was no money set aside for sea wall construction, which was promised after last month's widespread monsoon damage along the district coast.

The neglect, according to Dr. Isaac, included cancellation of the Rs.40-crore Pallathuruthy-Aryad bypass; Rs.10 crore for the Tourism Master Plan; Rs. 5 crore for cleaning of Kappithode; Rs.9 crore for cleaning and de-silting of Alappuzha's canals and Rs.10 crore for the bridge to the Nehru Trophy Ward, all of which were included in the supplementary demands for grants by Dr. Isaac.

The second phase of the Alappuzha municipal stadium, the marina-cum-cargo port project and the spices route project too were not mentioned by Mr. Mani, while the Rs.33-crore non-beta lactum factory of KSDP; the Rs.40-crore hosiery factory at the Komalapuram spinning and weaving mill; modernisation of Autokast, Cherthala; and the Rs.3-crore sanctioned for the Kayamkulam spinning mill too were forgotten.

Financial assistance provided by Dr. Isaac to the Gandhi Smaraka Grama Seva Kendra; the Kalavoor Gopinath Volleyball Academy; the T.V. Thomas Memorial Cooperative Hospital; the District Medical Bank; coastal police stations at Punnapra and Arthunkal; the Punnapra fishing harbour and the Aroor waste treatment plant too were cancelled, Dr. Isaac said.

He demanded that Mr. Mani clarify to the public whether the public should believe his budget speech or the medium term fiscal policy strategy statement, since many promises made in the speech were found missing in the statement. Mr. Mani should also show the courage to publish the financial white paper he had promised, he said.

The LDF district committee, which met later here, said the Budget was not at all development-oriented and one that threatened to derail all the development that was brought to the district and to the State in general by the V.S. Achuthanandan government. The hartal on July 12 would include protest marches across the district.

Keywords: Kerala budget

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