Cong, allies stage protest
The Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) on Monday staged a protest in the Kerala assembly over the government's refusal to accept its demand for an immediate discussion on the CPI(M)-BJP clashes in Kannur district, forcing the adjournment of the house for the day.
After an hour-long wrangling during zero hour, the UDF members rushed to the well of the house and shouted slogans, protesting the LDF Government's refusal to accept its demand for an immediate discussion on the issue.
Opposing the UDF's adjournment notice, both Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said normlacy had returned in Kannur and the government was open to the demand for an all-party meet to ensure lasting peace.
Achuthanandan said the government's view was that a round of bilateral talks between the BJP and CPI(M) leaders before the all-party meet would be effective. However, the BJP-RSS leaders had turned down the idea for time being.
Efforts were still on bring them round for bilateral talks, after which an all-party meet could be convened, he said.
Balakrishnan, who met RSS-BJP and CPI (M) leaders separately in Kannur yesterday, said both sides had assured him of their co-operation to halt violence.
Opposition leader Oommen Chandy said the government's stand that there was need for an immediate debate was not acceptable as the issue was expected to figure even in Parliament on Monday.