VD Satheesan | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Kochi: Kerala Leader of Opposition (LoP) VD Satheesan on Monday claimed Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is travelling in vehicles escorted by 40 police vehicles in the wake of ongoing protests against the government in the state.
"The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) is protesting in 72 panchayats on the buffer zone issue along with the agitation against the state Budget. All the parties, students, youth, and women's organisations are in protest. The chief minister, who said the UDF only knows how to hold Satyagraha, is travelling in Kerala accompanied by 40 police vehicles. Who is the chief minister afraid of?" he said.
He said that UDF is protesting to highlight people's issues. Neither the UDF nor the Congress has taken a U-turn like the CPIM, as they did earlier during the anti-computer, anti-tractor and anti-Asian Development Bank (ADB) protests.
Last week, UDF MLAs and the youth wing of the Congress party protested against the Left government's refusal to roll back the tax proposals and social security cess on fuel and liquor, announced in the Budget.
The MLAs took out a march against the state Budget from MLA Hostel to the state Legislative Assembly to attend the Budget session in Kerala Assembly. While the youthwing of the Congress protested in Kochi and clashed with the police personnel who used water cannons to disperse the protestors.
The protesters said they will continue the protest till the government change its decision.
This comes after the Kerala Finance Minister on February 7 said that government will not cut the cess imposed on fuel and liquor.
Earlier, too, LoP Satheesan had criticised the state Budget, terming it unscientific.
The Congress leader said, "For the last few days, we have been agitating inside and outside of the Assembly. Not only the Opposition, even the general public believes that the government will be forced to withdraw some of the taxes. Unfortunately, the government is not ready to pull down the taxes."
He claimed that all these taxes are unscientific as they will lead more price hikes and derail the state's economy.
Satheesan also attacked the government over the death of a literacy prerak, who was reportedly upset over the delay in the release of salary and committed suicide at his home in Pathanapuram, last week.
"In the state, literacy campaigners have not been paid for six months. The beneficiaries of Social Security pensions, who are sitting at home, have not been paid for the last 14 months. Inspite of all this, the Kerala CM is saying that there is no debt crisis in the state," he said.