Hartal disrupts normal life in Kerala

The 12-hour hartal called by the opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy hit normal life in Kerala on Wednesday.

Road traffic was by and large restricted to movement of only private vehicles. Most commercial establishments were also shut. There were some stray incidents of violence which were reported from the districts.

 In Thiruvananthapuram, there was tension during a protest march taken out by members of Left-affiliated youth groups. In Alappuzha, DYFI members clashed with the police. Kannur and Kozhikode also reported minor incidents of violence.

Meanwhile, the LDF is lining up plans to intensify the stir demanding the chief minister’s resignation over his alleged involvement in the solar panel fraud case.

On Friday, Left-affiliated trade unions will take out a protest march to the state secretariat. Senior CPM leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Wednesday targeted the Chandy over his “dubious” stand on the scam.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday, the chief minister said he would not step down succumbing to “political conspiracy”. While admitting that lapses had occurred in his office administration, he slammed opposition parties for dragging his family into the controversy.

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