National

LDF calls off siege of Kerala Secretariat

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on February 26, 2019 Published on August 13, 2013

Judicial probe ordered into solar scam

Opposition Left Democratic Front has lifted the one-day-old siege of the State Secretariat on Tuesday after Chief Minister Oommen Chandy gave into one of its demands to declare a judicial probe into the solar scam.

The Left Front had been demanding that the Chief Minister step down, too, pending inquiry, which, however, was ruled out.

Pinarayi Vijayan, State secretary of CPI(M), surrounded by a galaxy of Opposition leaders, announced to the huge gathering in front of the Secretariat that the siege was being called off with immediate effect.

The crowd roared its approval, but Pinarayi said other forms of protest, including waving of black flags against and boycott of the Chief Minister, would continue as long as he remained in office.

Pinarayi chose to describe the institution of the judicial probe as a major victory for the LDF.

SURGING CROWD

The leadership of the Left Front was hard-pressed to keep a surging crowd at bay and prevent a potential law and order situation from developing on Monday and early Tuesday morning.

Massive mobilisation of the activists on one side and strong posse of police guarding the Secretariat on the other started developing cracks by Monday night after the State Government employed a master stroke.

It had sprung a surprise by declaring that the Secretariat would remain closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by the Independence Day on Thursday.

This had effectively swept the carpet from under the feet of the Opposition, though at least some observers saw it as part of a deal struck through back channel diplomacy by interlocutors from both sides.

Both sides wanted to avoid the risk of the situation slipping out of hand, especially after a part of the mob blew hot and cold at Bakery Junction.



>vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 13, 2013
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