The ruling CPI(M) in Kerala has demanded additional employment under MGNREGA and rations for those left jobless due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kerala CPIM stages protest demanding employment for those left jobless due to COVID-19S Ramachandran Pillai Inaugurating the protest
news Protest Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - 08:09

Kerala staged state-wide protests on Tuesday as part of its nationwide agitation, demanding additional employment under MGNREGA and rations for those left jobless due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The protests were also against rising fuel prices.

CPI(M) polit bureau member and senior party leader S Ramachandran Pillai launched the state-wide protest at the martyrs column in Thiruvananthapuram.

State party chief Kodiyeri Balakrishnan also participated.

Pillai alleged that the central government had totally failed to control the COVID-19 situationin the country.

"We seek immediate cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month for six months to all families outside the income-tax bracket, free distribution of 10 kg of food grains per individual per month for six months.

We also demand expansion of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) from the current 100 days to 200 days with enhanced wages, among other things," Pillai said.

Kodiyeri, who also spoke, alleged that the Centre was 'selling off' public sector entities to corporates.

He also lashed out at the Opposition parties and alleged that they were trying to malign the image of the state, which has been ably handling the ongoing COVID-19 crisis

He flayed the Centre for the fuel price hike, which was increased for the 10th consecutive day on Tuesday, alleging that they were looting the people.

The protest was staged at 13,318 locations in Thiruvananthapuram alone.

Similar protests were held acrossall districts, ensuring social distancing protocol, party sources said.

In a countrywide protest on Tuesday, CPI(M) demanded immediate cash transfers and free food grains to the poor.

The party has accused the Narendra Modi government of using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to replace the secular, democratic and federal structure of the country with a unitary form of theocratic government and said the Centre has now virtually left the people of the country to fend for themselves in combating the pandemic.

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