Demands Chandy's resignation, strong Lokpal Bill

The Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) organised rallies across the State on Tuesday to press for Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's resignation in connection with the palmolein import deal and to press for a strong Lokpal Bill.

The rallies, held in all Assembly constituencies, were attended by hundreds of LDF activists, who raised slogans against the Chandy government and the failure of the Centre to tackle corruption with a strong Lokpal legislation.

The LDF activists staged a sit-in before the State Secretariat here and government offices in the districts as part of the agitation, which was also part of the nationwide protest day observance called by nine non-Congress non-NDA (National Democratic Alliance) parties.

In Thiruvananthapuram, Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan led the marchers, drawn from the Thiruvananthapuram, Kazhakuttam, Vattiyurkavu, and Nemom Assembly constituencies, from the martyrs' column.

Later, addressing the marchers before the Secretariat, Mr. Vijayan asked Mr. Chandy to see the writing on the wall and step down before he suffered the humiliation of being forced out of office.

Addressing the LDF workers, Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan lashed out at the Congress governments at the Centre and in the State for their failure to address the key question of corruption.

While the Centre was guilty of having shielded the corrupt and had no answer to the questions being raised by Gandhian activist Anna Hazare and the people rallied behind him, in Kerala, several Ministers in the Chandy Cabinet were facing investigation for corruption, he said.