Congress 'Shanti Yatra' against CPI(M)-RSS violence in Kerala

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Kochi, Dec 8 (UNI) Alleging that the renewed Communist Party of India(Marxist)-Rashtriya Swayamvek Sangh clashes had turned the northern district of Kannur in Kerala into a ''battlefield'', the Congress today said it will hold a 'Shanti Yatra' in the district from December 10 to express solidarity with the local people.

Talking to newspersons here, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Ramesh Chennithala said the four-day 'Padyatra' would be flagged off by Union Information and Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Das Munsi from Payyanur on December 10.

The march will conclude at Thalaserry on December 13 with Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh addressing the concluding function.

Among the participants in the march will be, the leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Oommen Chandy, Mr Chennithala, former MLAs and DCC office bearers.

Stating that the life of people in Kannur had become ''hellish'' due to renewed political violence under the Left Democratic Front Government, Mr Chennithala said the area was peaceful during the tenure of the United Democratic Front.

Accusing the LDF Government of all-round failure on the development front, Mr Chennithala said the price of rice was spiralling and Civil Supplies Minister Divakaran was advising people not to consume rice, but to eat chicken and eggs and drink milk.

''This is like the beleaguered people of France being advised to eat cake, if bread was not available during the rule of Louis XIV,'' the KPCC President said.

To protest against the LDF Government's failure to check the price rise, the UDF would picket the State Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on December 22.

Also, protest 'dharnas' will be held outside the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) offices in all panchayats on December 10 to protest against the proposed move to increase the domestic power rate by 20 paise per unit, he added.

Criticising the Government for the shoddy arrangements for the Sabarimala pilgrimage, which attracts tens of thousands of devotees from all over the country, Mr Chennithala demanded the resignation of Devaswom Minister G Sudhakaran and the Travancore Devaswom Board members.

''Ordinary pilgrims have to face the brunt of the ongoing cold war between the minister and the Devaswom Board,'' he added.


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