The Congress- led United Democratic Front, the opposition in Kerala, laid siege to the Secretariat, the state administrative headquarters, on Thursday, reiterating various demands including a judicial probe into the stabbing incident at the University College in Thiruvananthapuram.
The siege began by 8 am with leaders and workers of the Congress, Kerala Congress (M), Indian Union Muslim League, RSP etc gathering near the Secretariat, blocking three gates.
The demands made by UDF included a CBI investigation into the PSC 'malpractices' as names of three SFI members of the University College, all accused of stabbing another student, had featured in the PSC rank list.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala inagurated the siege saying that Kerala was witnessing one of its worst governments.
"The government is a total failure in all fronts. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sabotaged all the inquiries in the University College and the PSC issue. Is it appropriate for a popular CM to do that? The police have beaten up Youth Congress members, now they have even beaten up CPI leaders. If the CPI has any integrity and self-pride, they should open up against this. As many as 32 people died in police atrocities in the state in the last three years," Chennithala said.
Former Chief Minister and AICC General Secretary Oommen Chandy asked why the CM was afraid of judicial and CBI probe.
"The government is repeating it's wrong doings and the CM is justifying them," he said.
KPCC President Mullapally Ramachandran said that the LDF rule was the weakest the state has ever witnessed.
"The state government has been destroying constitutional institutions in a way way to what the Narendra Modi government is doing at the Centre. The Chief Minister lacks responsibility, the government is inactive and does not have a heart," Mullapally said.
AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal said that the government's stands are those that are inviting hate from the people. Deputy leader of the Opposition and IUML leader MK Muneer, KC (M) leader Jose K Mani also spoke during the siege.
The UDF has been on the offensive against the state government ever since their landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections. The stabbing incident at the University College has only added fuel to the UDF attack on the Pinarayi Vijayan government.
On July 15, three days after the clash at the college, the Kerala Student's Union (KSU), the student outfit of the Congress party in Kerala began a hunger strike outside the state Secretariat demanding a judicial probe into the stabbing incident at the college. The strike, however was called off on the eighth day after the police threw tear gas shells near the KSU protest tents during clashes with the Youth Congress workers on July 22.
The siege lasted till 1pm and hit vehicular movement in the city in a kilometre radius. Secretariat employees had to enter the building through the Cantonment gate.
Secretariat functioning not affected
According to the General Administration department 77.8 per cent of the employees reported for duty on Thursday despite the siege.