Thiruvananthapuram: Hours after giving a call for strike on 13 October to protest "anti-people policies" of the Centre and state government, the Congress-led UDF in Kerala deferred it, in the wake of criticism for holding it during the Under -17 FIFA world cup in Kochi.
UDF chairman and state opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said in a statement that the party was deferring its protest from 13-15 October in view of the FIFA world cup at Kochi
He said there had been demands from various quarters to and criticism for giving a call for strike on October 13 when an international football event would be held.
Earlier, at a press conference in Malappuram, Chennithala had said the protest was against the "frequent" hike in prices of petroleum products and drawback in implementation of GST.
Attacking the CPM-led LDF government in the state, he alleged that the state government was not taking any steps to ease the people's hardship caused by fuel price increase.
"Hartal (Strike) has been called as life has become difficult in Kerala," Chennithala said.
Taking a dig at state finance minister TM Thomas Isaac, who had welcomed GST at the time of implementation, he said id "Isaac was one of the persons who had hailed the GST even more than Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Now he should explain to people following the rise in prices of goods."
Price of all essential commodities have gone up, he alleged and said it has become difficult to have food from hotels and restaurants.
Chennithala rejected the BJP charge that Kerala has become a "fertile soil" for jihadi terrorism, and said "people of the state are known for high cultural values."
The only problem in the state is the "political violence unleashed by BJP and CPM," he said.
Chennithala also hit out at the ongoing Janaraksha Yatra, launched by BJP chief Amit Shah yesterday and led by BJP state president Kummanom Rajasekharan.
Referring to the strike, Chennithala said in Ernakulam district, it will be only till 3 pm in view of the FIFA under-17 world cup. Instructions have been given to ensure that spectators were not disturbed, he added.
The centre had on Tuesday cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre to moderate the relentless rise in fuel prices witnessed for the last three months.
Published Date: Oct 04, 2017 10:44 pm | Updated Date: Oct 04, 2017 10:44 pm