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Allies disappointed over Cliff House siege

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Allies disappointed over Cliff House siege
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Thiruvananthapuram: The allies of the Opposition LDF are of a view that the Cliff House siege launched by the front demanding resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is being held 'just for the heck of it'.

The LDF allies, including CPI, are disappointed over the decrease in the number of activists turning out for the protest day by day.

They have reportedly asked the front leadership to convene an immediate meeting to discuss the future of the indefinite siege.

The Left opposition began the protest near the official residence of the Chief Minister in an attempt to pressure him to resign over the solar scam.

The Left has been demanding that a judicial probe be instituted into the scam -- that demand has been met. Another demand is that the chief minister step down to enable "a free and fair" probe.

Although a judicial probe has been ordered, it is being done by a retired judge. Leader of Opposition in the state assembly V.S. Achuthanandan has said that a sitting high court judge must probe the matter, not a retired judge.

Since protestors Monday were not allowed to reach the residence of the chief minister, they squatted on a road close to it.

"What's this Left opposition up to? They claim they have laid a siege, and yet leave one road free for the chief minister to arrive and leave. All this is just humbug. It's a protest with an eye to Lok Sabha polls next year," said one angry commuter trying to wend his way through choked traffic.

The Left opposition has planned to have its workers from all assembly constituencies take turns to be part of the blockade at the chief minister's house. However, the number of protesters is coming down day by day.

After Achuthanandan spoke, top Left leaders courted arrest. Soon afterwards, Day One of the Left action was declared ended.

The chief minister missed all the action, being away in Idukki district to take part in the mass contact programme that has won a UN award.

Left Democratic Front convenor Vaikom Viswan clarified that the protest was against Chandy, and had nothing to do with the rest of his family.

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