Sitaram Yechury inaugurates LDF protest march to Raj Bhavan

LDF activists march to Raj Bhavan, the official residence-cum-office of Kerala Governor, in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. The CPM-led ruling combine is protesting against the BJP's efforts to saffronise the state's education sector. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, inaugurated the LDF's protest march to Raj Bhavan, the office-cum-residence of the Governor, on Tuesday. The march is expected to be attended by one lakh party workers.

The agitation is organised under the aegis of an education protection forum which would hold protests at all district centres too, the CPM said in a statement.

The Governor is currently in New Delhi and would return to Kerala on November 20. The police have beefed up security at the Raj Bhavan ahead of the protest.

Senior CPM leaders, CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran, DMK MP Tiruchi Siva among others are expected to participate in the march.

Attacking the RSS, the Left party said the BJP has made efforts to saffronise and commercialise the education sector wherever they are in power and claimed that the sangh parivar was using Governors to intervene in the education sector.

"The authority of the State governments and the universities prevent the Union government from directly intervening in the field of higher education. The Sangh Parivar is using the Governors to interfere in the education sector. The Kerala Governor has become the mouthpiece of the RSS which is trying to control the education sector," CPM said.

LDF workers sitting outside the Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram, as part of the party's protest march against Governor. Photo: Manorama

Meanwhile, BJP State chief K Surendran moved the Kerala High Court saying the march was to mount pressure on the Governor to give his assent for proposals on laws.

Surendran alleged that the government servants are being compelled to take part in the protest.

"... it is reliably learned that efforts are going on to compel the government servants to participate in the protest march... further they cannot take part in a politically motivated protest against the executive head of the State who is the highest constitutional functionary there," Surendran said in his plea filed before the court.

The State Cabinet recently sent an ordinance for the assent of Khan to remove him from the post of Chancellor of universities in Kerala.  

However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vjayan and the members of his cabinet will not join the agitation. 

Sitaram Yechury and Tiruchi Siva at LDF's Raj Bhavan march | Photo: Rinku Raj Mattancheriyil/ Manorama

High Court's decision on K Surendran's petition
The High Court on Tuesday clarified that there was no obstacle to the LDF's Raj Bhavan protest. The High Court's order came in the wake of a PIL filed by BJP State President K Surendran against the march. In his petition, Surendran sought to prevent government employees from participating in the agitation.

He alleged that participation of government employees in such strikes is illegal and attempts are being made to get the employees to take part in this march by marking their attendance in their office.

(Inputs from PTI)

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