Staff Reporter

ALAPPUZHA: Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy has demanded that all tsunami-affected people in the State should immediately be given the benefits they are entitled to using tsunami rehabilitation funds.

Visiting members of the Alappuzha diocese of the Latin Catholic Church, who have been staging a relay satyagraha in front of the District Collectorate here for the last 48 days, here on Monday Mr. Chandy said it was not proper for the State government to ignore such an agitation for so long. The government had waited for 48 days to initiate talks with the agitators. The demands of the agitators, if genuine and justified, should be heeded and if the government thought otherwise, it should make clear why.

The diocese has been agitating in front of the Collectorate since September 17 demanding completion of tsunami rehabilitation and disbursal of tsunami scholarships to all coastal students, among other things.

Speaking to reporters later, Mr. Chandy said the Opposition was willing to approach the Union government along with the State government if any more technical sanctions were required to go ahead with the tsunami rehabilitation works on the Kerala coast. The Leader of the Opposition also said that those who had accused his government of diverting tsunami funds had still not been able to prove the allegations.