State Secretariat not to function tomorrow

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Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 16 (UNI) Functioning of the State Secretariat in Kerala will come to a virtual standstill tomorrow as almost all ministers, including Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, will be busy with a dharna before Parliament in New Delhi.

According to sources, except Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem, Labour Minister P K Gurudasan and Local Self-Government Minister Paloli Muhammad Kutty, all other Ministers would be taking part in the agitation against ''neglect'' of the state by the UPA government.

While Mr Kareem and Mr Gurudasan cancelled their Delhi trip as they wanted to attend the general convention of the CITU at Tirur in Malappuram district, Mr Muhammad kutty withdrew from the trip on health grounds, the sources said.

The CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government decided to stage the dharna before Parliament on the opening day of its winter session tomorrow to press the demands for restoration of slashed foodgrain quota and electricity from the Central pool and allotment of adequate funds to compensate people hit by natural calamities.

Besides the ministers, Left MPs and MLAs from the state would be participating in the dharna led by Mr Achuthanandan.

Meanwhile, the Congress-led Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in the state alleged that the agitation was to cover up the LDF government's ''administrative failure.'' It also alleged that even though the Centre had sanctioned several schemes for the state, they could not be implemented due to laxity on the part of the state government.

The UDF would stage a sit-in before the State Secretariat tomorrow to protest against the recent hike in power and water tariffs and increased auto and taxi fares.

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