UDF activists lay siege to Secretariat

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Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 16 (UNI) The Congress-led Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala today laid siege to the Secretariat in protest against the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government's ''failed policies'' in educational sector and in checking price hike.

The agitators also demanded withdrawal of hike in power tariff and bus fares.

UDF leaders and workers blocked all the four gates to the Secretariat from 0500 hours, preventing the staff and Ministers from entering the complex.

Later, police arrested UDF Legislators, including Mr Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Mr K C Venugopal, Mr P C Vishnunath and Mr Joseph M Puthussery.

Inaugurating the agitation, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the LDF Government was trying to protect the interests of the land mafiya in the state.

Alleging that the state government was a ''total failure'' in all fronts and a ''burden'' to the people, he claimed that the people in the state were ''fed up'' with the government.

Mr Chennithala also charged that ''a conspiracy is being hatched by the CPI(M) to oust Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan.'' The Secretariat siege was part of UDF's efforts to strengthen their ongoing agitation against educational policies of the LDF Government and the controversial seventh standard social science textbook.


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