Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said here on Monday that the functioning of the Secretariat was not significantly affected by the siege of the Secretariat launched by the Left Democratic Front. However, considerable hardships were being caused to the public in the capital city.

At a press conference in the evening, the Minister said about 67 per cent of the staff had turned up for work at the Secretariat despite the blockade. The government had kept its promise to accord protection to the staff. Special buses had been arranged to bring staff to the Secretariat and leave them at the railway station and bus stand after office hours. If there were any complaints, those would be addressed.

Referring to stone-throwing by LDF workers at the police, Mr. Radhakrishnan noted that the police had shown considerable restraint despite attack on two police vehicles and injury to a driver. The police should be congratulated for managing the situation properly.

He said there was no truth in the allegation by the former Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan that Rs. 300 crore was spent for deployment of Central forces. So far, only Rs. 30 lakh had been spent. The expenditure of a company of the Central Reserve Police Force was Rs. 1.1 lakh a day.

He denied that the police had registered cases against Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan. It was not the policy of the government to register cases against popular leaders over protests. However, the LDF leaders should reflect on the hardships the agitation was causing to the people of the city.

He said security arrangements had been made in view of the visit of the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. The details of Mr. Gowda’s visit had not been communicated to the government. Hence, personal security and other facilities could not be arranged.

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