Kerala 'secretariat siege' to continue, says Prakash Karat

New Delhi/ Agartala/ Thiruvananthapuram, Aug. 11 (ANI): The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Sunday confirmed that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) will go ahead with their planned siege of the Secretariat in Trivandrum on August 12 in protest against the Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy whose resignation has been demanded in connection with the solar panel cheating case.

"Despite all the demands so far, the Chief Minister and the Government is refusing to concede. So, the LDF has called for a siege of the Secretariat with big demonstrations beginning on Monday, August 12. This will continue for a week....We will mobilize the lakh of people (who will) surround the Secretariat. We are not going to resort to any violent action. But the way that the Government is preparing, I think they are planning a violent crackdown or a repression-that will not suppress this protest," CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said in New Delhi.

Prakash Karat also said that the State Government has taken unprecedented measures to stop the protest. He said that they have deployed the Central paramilitary force, like the Indo-Tibetan border Police in Trivandrum and have sealed off all the roads which will lead into the city.

Additionally, the State Government has decided not to allow people to travel in buses and private vehicles. Moreover, Government have asked hotels and threatened private house owners against putting up people if they are coming for the demonstration

Prakash Karat said that the escalated prevention measures would not dampen the spirit of protest against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

"But despite all this, the LDF will hold a big protest action outside the Secretariat in Trivandrum. The first round of protest took place in all the districts-there were day and night mass dharnas. In the second phase, we are finding that more and more people are joining this protest. So, this Government is now isolated. We will continue this struggle till these demands are achieved," Prakash Karat said.

CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat also endorsed the protest saying that it is not a fight between the Congress and the CPI(M), but instead one that is between the corruption and the constitutional rights of the people.

"The Chief Minister should realize that this is not the question of Congress versus the CPI (M). This is the question of corruption versus the rights of the people of Kerala. It is an issue of democracy versus the obdurate and adamant attitude of a government, whose shameless record (with) every Minister and so many Ministers names coming for that government now to think that they can use Police force against the people of Kerala. I reiterate, this is not a question of the Government versus the CPI (M) or the Left Democratic Front. This is the Government versus the people of Kerala and the demands of the people of Kerala," Brinda Karat said in Agartala.

Brinda Karat added that there is legitimate brooding anger in the people of Kerala, which cannot be suppressed even if the State Government decides to resort to violent means in the LDA protest.

"When the people's anger is there and the people are raising a legitimate demand to think that you can suppress that demand, that movement, through the use of lathis and teargas and firing-I think they are suffering from illusions because the strength is not whether it is the Left or whether it is a red flag or whether it is the CPI (M). This is a popular demand of the people of Kerala and the substantiation of this demand has also come from the Kerala High Court. Therefore, I think, this is not how to go about it," Brinda Karat added.

The LDF protest, which will last a week, will start in Trivandrum on August 12.

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said the Special Investigation Team ( SIT ) of the state police is probing the solar panel cheating case.

Chandy, who was addressing a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram earlier today, said the solar scam involves cheating to the tune of seven crore rupees and the government has not lost a single rupee.

Chandy had earlier last month assured that stringent punishment would be given to those found guilty in the solar panels supply and execution scam.

The Left Democratic Front in Kerala had earlier demanded a judicial probe in the matter.

The solar scam pertains to cheating several persons amounting to crores of rupees by Saritha Nair and her accomplice Biju Radhakrishnan by offering solar panel solutions.

It took a political turn with the arrest of one of Chandy's close personal aides, who has alleged links with the accused. Two other employees in his personal staff have also been removed in connection with the scam. (ANI)

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