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LDF calls for hartal Saturday; UDF’s ‘black day’ Sunday

LDF calls for hartal Saturday; UDF’s ‘black day’ Sunday

Thiruvananthapuram: The CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front has called for a state-wide dawn-to-dusk hartal on Saturday in protest against the "police brutality" against its legislators inside the Kerala Assembly and on its supporters outside when the state budget was being presented.

The LDF at a meeting also decided to call on state Governor P. Sathasivam to inform him that all rules and regulations of the budget presentation were not followed when the budget was presented by Finance Minister K.M. Mani.

The House today witnessed unprecedented and ugly scenes as K M Mani, facing allegations in the bar bribery issue, presented the state budget amid stiff resistance by LDF-led Opposition.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the UDF will observe Sunday as ‘black day’ in the wake of unruly incidents in the Assembly.

"Two weeks ago I knew that they will organise a shutdown the next day after the budget is presented. Look what all happened on the floor of the assembly. And they did everything, and now to hide that shame, they are organising a shutdown. The people are seeing everything," said Chandy to reporters after hearing about the shutdown.

Incidentally, this is the second state-wide shutdown this year. The first was held on January 27 and was called by the BJP for pressing for resignation of Mani, who allegedly accepted Rs.1 crore in bribe from bar owners to allow the closed down bars to be reopened.

A statement from the Communist Party of India-Marxist said as many as 20 legislators were seriously injured in the police attack and some have been admitted to the intense care unit of hospitals.

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