Says none mediated with LDF to end siege of Secretariat

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Wednesday that no understanding had been reached with the Left Democratic Front on ending its Secretariat siege.

Talking to the media after a meeting of the Cabinet, the Chief Minister said that none had mediated for a settlement. The government was open to suggestions from the Opposition on the proposed judicial inquiry, provided they were reasonable. The Opposition should explain the basis of its demand that his office should come under the judicial probe.

Mr. Chandy said he would go ahead with the proposed mass contact programme unmindful of Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan’s threat to launch protests at the programme. He would not be deterred by such threats.

The Chief Minister said the government planned major market intervention programmes during the Onam season.

In addition to the six Ramzan-Onam bazaars that had started functioning, 13 town Onam people bazaars would start functioning from August 23. Besides, 1,750 Onam markets, mini-fares, and other outlets would function from September 11 to 15.

The State Civil Supplies Corporation would distribute rice and 13 other essential commodities at subsidised prices. The Cabinet had sanctioned Rs.65 crore to the corporation for this.

Mr. Chandy said that about 20 lakh BPL (below the poverty line) families would be given Onam kits during the festival season.

Students covered by the noon-meal scheme would get 5 kg of rice during the season. A kilogram of sugar would be supplied to all ration cardholders.

Siege a failure: IUML

Staff Reporter writes from Kozhikode: Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) State unit general secretary K.P.A. Majeed has said the LDF has withdrawn its Secretariat siege due to fear of failure.

Just like the previous strikes of the LDF, the Secretariat siege too was a failure. The plan was to go on blockading the Secretariat gates until Chief Minister Oommen Chandy resigned.

They could not achieve any of their demands. It was the realisation that the protest was going out of hands that led to the sudden withdrawal of the siege, Mr. Majeed told reporters here on Tuesday.

The United Democratic Front (UDF) had always maintained that a judicial inquiry could be ordered as and when the police inquiry was over. The government’s decision on judicial inquiry was being dubbed as a victory of the left protest, but was not so actually.

It was laughable that the left had withdrawn the strike as soon as the decision was made. The left had made life of the people of Thiruvananthapuram miserable in the name of the Secretariat siege. Their demand for Mr.Chandy’s resignation was unjust since a judicial inquiry had been announced.

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