CPI(M) MP denies claims of taking initiative to settle secretariat siege against Chandy in 2013

Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas on Friday denied a reported claim that he, on behalf of CPI(M) leaders, had taken the initiative to settle a massive secretariat siege organised by the party a decade ago in which the resignation of then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was sought.
 Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas
Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas

Kannur(Kerala) | Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas on Friday denied a reported claim that he, on behalf of CPI(M) leaders, had taken the initiative to settle a massive secretariat siege organised by the party a decade ago in which the resignation of then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was sought.

Brittas claimed that it was some Congress leaders who had intervened to settle the strike, which had virtually paralysed the functioning of the state secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram for a few days in August 2013.

CPI(M) Kannur District Secretary M V Jayarajan also rejected the claim by a senior journalist.

The journalist in an article on the solar scam protest published in the weekly magazine 'Samakalika Malayalam Vaarika,' claimed it was the initiative of Brittas, who was the head of the CPI(M)-run TV channel, to settle the controversial agitation held by the CPI(M) when Pinarayi Vijayan was the state secretary of the party.

"This is fiction," Brittas told reporters here, reacting to the claim.

Brittas said that senior Congress leader and then Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan had contacted him through the phone of Cheriyan Philip, who was then a fellow traveller of the Left in Kerala sympathetic to the ideology but later joined the Congress party, and seeking a solution to end the solar protest.

He said that on that day, Radhakrishnan informed him that the government was ready to compromise, accepting the demands of the opposition.

A judicial inquiry was the demand of the CPI(M)-led LDF in the solar protest, Brittas said, and it was conveyed to him by its leadership and, in turn, it was informed to Radhakrishnan.

Reacting to this, Radhakrishnan said the Congress-led UDF had felt the need to resolve the issue and tried to do so.

Talking to reporters in Kottayam, he indicated that the outcome of the discussion was as per the wish of the then ruling front. He, however, said it was Brittas who contacted him using Cheriyan Philip's phone.

Philip claimed that the LDF launched the secretariat siege after veteran Marxist leader and former chief minister V S Achuthanandan insisted on it.

Cheriyan, now in the Congress party, also said it was Radhakrishnan who contacted Brittas through him, seeking a way to end the secretariat siege.

The LDF called off the siege of the secretariat after then Chief Minister Chandy announced a judicial probe.

The solar panel scam pertained to the alleged duping of several persons to the tune of crores of rupees by a woman and her accomplice who offered solar panel solutions.

The woman and her accomplice had allegedly established contacts with the Chief Minister's Office and certain ministers in the UDF government

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