LDF calls off Secretariat siege

Braving the rains, Left Democratic Front activists laid siege to the Secretariat from Monday demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar

The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) called off its indefinite siege of the Secretariat to press for Chief Minister Ooomen Chandy’s resignation over the solar scam following the United Democratic Front (UDF) government’s decision to order a judicial inquiry into the scandal.

Announcing the LDF decision at the agitation venue at 1.10 p.m., barely an hour after Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced the probe decision, CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said the boycott of the Chief Minister and the black flag demonstrations against him would continue as Mr. Chandy had refused to step down as demanded by the Opposition.

The Opposition would adopt other forms of agitation to force the Chief Minister to quit, he said.

Earlier, announcing the probe decision, Mr. Chandy told reporters that the government would request the Kerala High Court to spare the services of a sitting judge of the court to conduct the inquiry. The government was all along open to the demand for such an inquiry and had deferred a decision only because it wanted the ongoing police investigation into the solar scam to be completed.

Now that the police investigation was almost over, the government was ready for a judicial inquiry, he said.

The government, he added, would hear the Opposition’s views when finalising the terms of reference of the judicial inquiry but did not think that there was any reason to bring the Chief Minister’s Office under the ambit of the probe.

He also thanked the Opposition for having ensured that there was no major instance of violence in connection with the stir.

The Opposition had begun the indefinite siege on Monday morning drawing cadres and supporters from all parts of the State. The siege, in which several thousands of Opposition activists had taken part, had forced the government to declare two days’ holiday for the Secretariat.

The government was able to keep one of the four gates of the Secretariat open and had claimed that 67 per cent of the employees reported for work on Monday.

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Printable version | May 12, 2022 2:57:46 pm |