Labour Minister Shibu Baby John will look into the reasons for the ongoing strike by newspaper distributors in the State and see whether the issues could be sorted out amicably.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy stated this in reply to a submission from Joseph Vazhackan in the Assembly on Thursday.
Mr. Vazhackan alleged that there was a political design in the strike. The newspaper agents had exempted the CPI(M) newspaper Deshabhimani from the strike. The distribution of all other newspapers had been affected. Only the CPI(M)'s version of what was happening in the world was now reaching the people through the print media in Kerala.
In reply, Mr. Chandy said the government would not deny anyone his or her right to resort to an agitation for the rectification of grievances. However, in this case, there had been reports about the striking newspaper agents using force to prevent others from distributing the newspapers.
He said leaders of the agitating newspaper agents had met him earlier in the day. According to them, they did not dare targeting their strike against Deshabhimani .
Deputy Leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and CPI(M) MLA A.K. Balan said the impression that the Deshabhimani had not been affected by the strike was wrong. They asked the Chief Minister whether he was willing to call the newspaper managements and the striking newspaper agents for a discussion to resolve the dispute.
The Chief Minister answered this question by stating that he would request the Labour Minister to find a way to end the strike.