CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has warned the police of dire consequences if it surpassed the limits and violated the law in handling the indefinite Secretariat siege of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) from Monday demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and a judicial probe into the solar panel scam.
Mr. Vijayan told reporters here on Saturday that the siege was being organised by responsible Opposition parties which enjoyed majority support against a minority government. The agitation would be led by leaders such as former Prime Minister Deve Gowda and CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat among others.
Thousands of volunteers would move to the Secretariat and block all the four gates peacefully. The volunteers would sit wherever they were blocked, but neither Mr. Chandy nor Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan need think that the volunteers could be prevented from reaching the Secretariat. He flayed Mr. Radhakrishnan’s statement likening the siege to the Sangh Parivar’s attack on the Babri Masjid. The Minister seemed to have lost his mental balance and needed medical treatment. The LDF did not intend to demolish the Secretariat or upset the government.
The volunteers were the people of Kerala and not terrorists. The LDF was only reflecting the people’s wish to remove Mr. Chandy. The internal dissensions in the Congress might be the reason for calling the Central forces to tackle the agitation.
Since Mr. Chandy had lost confidence in his colleagues he had asked for Central forces. This had brought the agitation to the national focus. The UDF allies, who had a stake in the governance, should clarify their stance on the agitation.
For, their silence would be deemed as their approval of Mr. Chandy’s stance. Indications of the differences of opinion in the UDF had started emerging.
The IUML leadership had resolved to gear up on its own for the Lok Sabha elections. The decision to bring in Central forces was aimed at diverting public attention from the main issues, including the Chief Minister’s role in the solar panel scam.
CPI flays Chandy
CPI State secretary Pannian Ravindran on Saturday flayed Mr. Chandy for ordering the preventive arrests of LDF leaders ahead of the proposed Secretariat siege.
In a statement here, he said the strong-arm tactics of the government would not succeed in suppressing the popular agitation. He also protested against the use of the police to defeat the LDF’s agitation and added that the Chief Minister would be solely responsible for any law and order problems and the consequent damages. He said the LDF was demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister in connection with the solar scam because it would not be possible to conduct a fair investigation with him in office.
The Chief Minister had called off his mass contact programme fearing poor attendance because the people had lost faith in him.
The Nationalist Congress Party also registered its strong protest at the government’s decision to deploy Central forces for “extending protection to perpetrators of corruption.”
The Communist Marxist Party, (CMP), a UDF partner, accused the CPI (M) of forgetting the issues faced by the people.