President's visit: BJP not to withdraw hartal

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Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 31 (UNI) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kerala has decided to go ahead with its proposed state-wide hartal tomorrow, even as President Pratibha Patil reached here for her maiden three-day visit to the state.

The BJP had called for the strike in protest against the Centre's ''negligence'' of the state and formation of Salem Railway division, carving out a portion from Palakkad division, BJP State President P K Krishnadas said in a statement here.

''It is not that our hartal should be withdrawn. But the inauguration of the Salem division has to be cancelled taking into account the people's protest against it,'' he said.

Last week in a press conference when asked if the President's convoy would also be blocked as part of the agitation, Mr Krishnadas had said that Ms Patil should have come on November 2 instead of tomorrow. He had also requested the President to join the protest against the Centre's negligience towards the state.

He had also stated that the date fixed for the Salem Railway division inauguration was November 1, also the State Formation Day.

''This itself is a disgrace to all Malayalees,'' the BJP leader charged.


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