Police stop a DYFI woker protesting against Oommen Chandy at an event in Kozhikode on Thursday. (PTI)
Thiruvananthapuram, Aug. 9: Kerala’s Congress-led government today considered imposing prohibitory orders here and requisitioned central forces to deal with an “indefinite secretariat siege” planned by the Left to demand chief minister Oommen Chandy’s resignation over the solar scandal.
The Left plans to mobilise around one lakh supporters from across the state, a number that could paralyse the government machinery that functions from the complex.
The protest follows two weeks of demonstrations in front of the secretariat during which the leaders demanded that Chandy quit over the solar scandal in which a former aide of the chief minister has been arrested.
One of the four gates of the secretariat complex will remain open to facilitate entry and exit of ministers and employees during the protest from August 12 and those who try to block it will be removed or arrested, police said. Prohibitory orders ban the presence of four or more persons.
The government has already written to the Centre demanding 22 companies of the CRPF.
Sources said the Centre had agreed to the request and the forces would start arriving tomorrow.
The government has declared a holiday for schools and colleges in the state capital on August 12 and 13. Police have warned hotels in and around Thiruvananthapuram against providing accommodation to protesters.
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has reduced long-distance services by 30 per cent to try and prevent the influx. Steps are on to stop protesters from entering the city.
The security build-up has come amid a war of words between the Congress and the Opposition, with each side accusing the other of resorting to undemocratic means.
“The opposition LDF (Left Democratic Front), and the CPM in particular, is trying to create civil strife. Their decision to lay siege to the secretariat is unprecedented in the state’s history of protests and is an open challenge to democracy and the people. The government cannot remain a mute spectator,” state home minister T. Radhakarishnan said this evening.
The warning came hours after deputy leader of Opposition , the CPM’s Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, accused the government of using fascist means to suppress a “democratic protest”.' The agitation will go on despite the clampdown, he said.
State Congress chief Ramesh Chennithal termed the CPM’s plan “fascist'” saying it was aimed at scoring points ahead of next year’s general election.
BJP state president V. Muraleedharan said he did not agree with the government’s decision to call in central forces to tackle political protests.