Palakkad (Kerala), Nov 28 IANS | 2 years ago

Kerala's opposition CPI-M Thursday decided to intensify its protest against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy by staging a blockade of his official residence in the state capital from Dec 9, a party leader said.

The decision was taken at the three-day plenum of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) underway there.

Ever since the "solar panel scam" broke out in June this year, the Left has been up in arms against Chandy, by now holding various forms of protests and demanding that he step down, owning moral responsibility after his office was found to have been involved with the perpetrators.

Speaking to reporters at the plenum venue, CPI-M politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the CPI-M activists cannot be stopped from going ahead with their protest.

"Nothing can stop us in our protests and we are determined in it. There is no difference in the Left Front over the various protests that we have conducted in the solar scam case. Once we decide to go ahead with a protest, it is done after getting the clearance of all our allies," he added.

The solar panel scam has been making headlines in Kerala since June 3, when accused Saritha Nair was arrested. Two weeks later, her live-in partner Biju Radhakrishnan was also taken into custody.

The couple allegedly defrauded people by offering solar energy solutions at huge discounts and often lured people into investing in their enterprise by citing acquaintance with people in high offices in the state government.

Telephone call records of the couple revealed they had been in close touch with influential political people.

Since then the Left opposition has protested in and out of the state assembly. On Aug 12, the oppositgion organised a massive blockade of the state secretariat but withdrew it a day later though the demonstrators asserted they will continue the agitation till Chandy steps down.

Last month, Chandy's government ordered a judicial probe in the matter as demanded by the Left opposition, but they continued to boycott Chandy and his programmes.

On Oct 27, Chandy was injured after his vehicle was stoned in Kannur by alleged Left activists. After this, the boycott of Chandy was slowed down.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front has called the protest in front of Chandy's home as undemocratic, while state Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said the government will not remain silent on it.

(Posted on 28-11-2013)