Chief Minister returns after receiving UN award

Bouquets and brickbats were on view, though not in equal measure, as Chief Minister Oommen Chandy returned to the State capital on Saturday morning after receiving the United Nations (UN) Public Service Award for 2013 at a function in Bahrain on Thursday.

Hundreds of Congress- Youth Congress- Kerala Students Union (KSU) activists accorded a rousing reception for Mr. Chandy as he stepped out of the domestic terminal of the Thiruvananthapuram international airport around 11 a.m.

The Chief Minister had a tough time moving towards his waiting car as a surging crowd of slogan-shouting Congress workers jostled to get close to him. At one point, the Chief Minister almost missed a step and had to be held up by his security guards.

Outside the airport, DYFI and Yuva Morcha activists waved black flags and shouted slogans against him at three places as the Chief Minister’s car passed by.

The police had to use mild force to restrain the youth activists at all the three places and remove them.

There were also some minor skirmishes between the Opposition activists and their Youth Congress counterparts.

Mr. Chandy’s convoy had to take a detour from its designated route to reach the State secretariat. The Chief Minister, who had reached Kochi earlier in the morning, had faced similar reception from the Opposition youth activists at Aluva as well. The police had to restrain the DYFI activists, who had arrived before the Aluva guesthouse with slogans against the Chief Minister.

Speaking to reporters at Aluva, Mr. Chandy said there was no question of the government interfering in the ongoing investigation into the ‘solar scam’, in connection with which his former personal assistant and constant companion Tenny Joppan was arrested by the police on Friday.

Mr. Chandy pointed out that he had sought an interim report from the Intelligence wing of the State police immediately after the alleged scam came to light.