Lakhs attend DYFI human chain against BJP govt’s alleged negligence towards Kerala
In a massive show of strength, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), linked to the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)), organised a 651-km long human chain in Kerala, from Kasaragod district in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south. It is estimated that more than 20 lakh people from across the state attended the event on January 20. The human chain was formed as a mark of protest against the Union government for its alleged neglect towards Kerala and financially crippling the state.
In Kerala’s Kochi, the participants of the human chain briefly joined hands and shouted slogans against the Narendra Modi-led BJP government for ignoring the demands of the state. The protesters also demanded the centre to release due revenue share, approve the SilverLine project at the earliest to improve public transport, and create employment opportunities.
Speaking to The Hindu, Renowned writer MK Sanoo, who took part in the human chain at Ernakulam’s Vytilla, said attempts by fascist forces to violate constitutional rights have to be opposed democratically. The right to protest enjoyed by the people cannot be curtailed by force, he added.
Addressing media in Thiruvananthapuram, CPI(M) state secretary M.V. Govindan said people of Kerala had rallied behind the state government to get back the state’s due share from a politically hostile Union government.
According to reports, the Union government has to pay a total of Rs 57,400 crore, which includes GST compensation (Rs 12,000 crore), revenue deficit grant (Rs 8,400 crore), loan shelving (Rs 19,000 crore), and reduced tax devolution (Rs 18,000 crore). The state also has to get Rs 4,224.87 crore as financial aid arrears from the centre.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, along with Left Democratic Front (LDF) MPs and MLAs, would stage an agitation at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on February 8 against the Union government’s alleged attempts to trespass federalism. The Congress party in Kerala had declined the CPI(M)’s invitation to join the protest. Opposition leader V.D Satheesan said the state government was trying to put the entire blame on the Union government and mislead the public.