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Solar scam: State govt seeks Central forces to face LDF ‘siege’

Solar scam: State govt seeks Central forces to face LDF ‘siege’

Thiruvananthapuram: Gearing up to tackle the indefinite siege of the government secretariat by the Opposition LDF over solar scam, the Congress-led UDF government has requisitioned paramilitary forces to face the massive campaign starting on August 12.

In what could be the biggest protest ever witnessed here, the LDF, spearheaded by 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 CRPF besides deploying the state forces in full strength, official sources said.

The district collector has already declared holiday for educational institutions here 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 intimidatory tactics.

According to CPI-M leader and LDF convener Vaikom Viswan, around one lakh LDF volunteers would lay a siege to the secretariat blocking entry and exit through its four gates.

As the lead partner of the LDF, CPI-M alone would be mobilising about 75,000 volunteers through its nearly 25,000 branch committees in the State.

“This would be the biggest convergence of protesters ever seen by the state capital. We are not buckling under the threat from the government,” CPI-M State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said at a public meeting last evening.

National leaders of the Left and allied parties, including CPI-M’s Prakash Karat and CPI’s 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, LDF has been demanding Mr. Chandy’s resignation and a judicial probe into the scam.

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