Oommen Chandy holds mass contact programme in Kannur
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Tuesday walked to a mass contact programme venue amid tight security in Kannur, a CPI-M bastion where he injured in October when stones were hurled at his convoy.
The last time Oommen Chandy came here Oct 27, he had to be airlifted to the capital city with a badly bruised chest, the injuries caused by stones hurled at his car and the convoy.
This time around, 4,000 policemen kept a vigil as his mass contact programme (MCP) began here Tuesday morning.
In 2004, Chandy launched the first edition of the programme in which he meets people in each of the 14 districts of the state and hears their woes and finds solutions. This is the third edition of his MCP and Kannur is the last district that he is covering Tuesday.
Quite early in the morning, people arrived at the venue and an estimated 10,000 people waited to meet him.
"There has been a talk on why this programme should be held because many of the issues could be settled by officials at the lower levels. To a certain extend it's true. But what we have found is that...officials are unable to do their job because of the strict rules," said Chandy while addressing people who came to meet him.
"What we have done...is that we have re-written 45 government orders to make life easy for people," he added.
The Left opposition has criticised Chandy over the solar panel scam in which a few office staff of Chandy were found to have links with a con couple who swindled many by promising them solar panels at cheap rates. Since June this year, the opposition has been demanding he order a judicial probe and quit office.
The Left supporters wave black flags wherever Chandy goes and last week they began a 140-day blockade of his official residence in the capital city.
Top CPI-M leaders along with numerous supporters Tuesday marched towards the venue but the police stopped them before they could reach it.
"Please don't show your arrogance...you are surviving just because you have power in your hands. Don't think you can survive like this for long and this MCP is nothing but taking people for a ride by using your power," said senior CPI-M legislator E.P.Jayarajan while addressing the protest march.
"Chandy, please correct your wrong doings...you are leading a group of leaders who have soiled their hands in the solar scam. Today or tomorrow you will have to lay down office and then law will catch up with you," he added.
(Posted on 17-12-2013)