requisitioned paramilitary forces to face LDF siege
press trust of india
Gearing up to tackle the indefinite siege of the government secretariat by the opposition LDF over solar scam, the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala has requisitioned paramilitary forces to face the massive campaign starting on 12 August.
In what could be the biggest protest ever witnessed, the LDF, spearheaded by the CPI-M, plans to bring around one lakh workers as part of its ongoing campaign demanding resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in connection with the scam.
Taking a serious note of the campaign, especially its timing in the run up to Independence Day celebrations, the government has urged the Union Home Ministry to send a few companies of the CRPF besides deploying the state forces in full strength, according to official sources.
The district collector has already declared holiday for educational institutions in view of traffic disruption and other inconvenience to be caused by such a large convergence of protesters from all over the state.
Unfazed by government’s move to sternly handle the protest that might paralyse normal functioning of the seat of power, LDF leaders said the front would go ahead with the campaign without giving in to government’s intimidating tactics.
According to CPI-M leader and LDF convener Vaikom Viswan, around one lakh LDF volunteers would lay a siege on the secretariat, blocking entry and exit through its four gates.
As the lead partner of the LDF, the CPI-M alone would be mobilising about 75,000 volunteers through its nearly 25,000 branch committees in the state.
National leaders of the Left and allied parties, including CPI-M’s Mr Prakash Karat and CPI’s Mr Sudhakar Reddy, would be addressing the protesters.
Solar scam, rocking the state for some two months, has brought Mr Chandy under a cloud, especially after the arrest of one of his close personal aides for his alleged links with the scamsters.
The scam pertains to financial cheating of several people by the accused Biju Radkahrishnan and Saritha Nair, both under arrest, by offering clients solar energy solutions. The accused allegedly used their clout in the CM’s office for duping their clients of huge sums.
Ever since it surfaced, the LDF has been demanding the CM&’s resignation and a judicial probe into the scam.