LDF offensive to press for Chief Minister’s resignation over solar scam
The United Democratic Front (UDF) government in Kerala is faced with the worst crisis after assuming office in 2011 with the Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) all set to lay an indefinite siege to the State Secretariat here beginning Monday to press for Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s resignation over the solar scam.
The Opposition’s proposed offensive, the like of which the State has never seen before, has provoked the government to clamp down heavily on the Opposition’s efforts to mobilise its cadres across the State and deploy Central and State forces in the State capital.
As many as 20 companies of Central forces have been requisitioned to thwart the Opposition agitation, raising fears that there could be a showdown between the Opposition and the law enforcement personnel as the siege gets under way.
Over a lakh Opposition activists are expected to participate in the agitation which, Opposition leaders say, would continue till Mr. Chandy steps down to face a judicial inquiry in the multi-crore solar scam.
The government has notified Secretariat employees that they would not be allowed to go on leave during the strike period and promised them special transport to the Secretariat, which would be under the protection of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
Police issue advisories
The State police have issued advisories to hotels, lodges and marriage halls in the State capital to maintain stringent curbs on guests.
Owners of stage carriages, lorries and other public transport vehicles have also been warned of stringent action if they transported people in violation of permit norms.
The district administration has imposed prohibition in the district.
Tension prevailed in parts of the city for sometime when the police tried to demolish the make-shift kitchen put up by the Opposition activists in the city.
They withdrew from the attempt in the face of strong resistance from the Opposition workers led by T.M. Thomas Isaac, MLA.
The Chief Minister said that the government would not resort to use of force if the agitation remained peaceful.
The LDF State committee, which met here on Saturday to review the preparations for the agitation, declared that the agitation would be peaceful.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said the same at a news conference, but warned the government of dire consequences if the police tried to browbeat the agitators by use of force.
Addressing a separate news conference, Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan accused the Chief Minister of resorting to fascist methods to defeat the Opposition strike.