Thiruvananthapuram | The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of the CPI(M), organised a massive human chain from northern Kasaragod to the Raj Bhavan in southern Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday, protesting against the alleged negligence of the BJP-led Central government towards Kerala.
The DYFI state leadership claimed that the 651-km human chain witnessed the active participation of lakhs of people.
Addressing a public meeting organised outside the Raj Bhavan here, CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan said that Kerala had once again etched its name in the annals of history with this monumental public protest.
Govindan said that the BJP-led Central government could not ignore the widespread discontent expressed through the human chain, emphasising that it comprised not only youth cadres of DYFI but citizens of all ages.
DYFI national president A A Rahim and CPI(M) leader E P Jayarajan marked the first and last links in the chain.
The protest took aim at the Centre's alleged "discriminatory politics, anti-people economic policies, mounting unemployment," and an alleged "step-motherly attitude of the Railways" towards Kerala.
DYFI activists and supporters formed human chains along both national and state highways, with notable writers and poets like T Padmanabhan and Balachandran Chullikkad taking part in it.
CPI(M) politburo member M A Baby highlighted the broader participation, recalling such protests organised by the outfit a few decades ago.
"We had done this earlier and this time, it is not just the party workers but the common people of Kerala who have come forward. On the previous occasion, prominent personalities like Vaikom Muhammed Basheer and Justice V R Krishna Iyer had participated in our human chain protest.
"This time, noted Malayalam short story writer T Padmanabhan is taking part in the protest in Kannur, and famous poet Balachandran Chullikkad is becoming a part of the chain at Kollam," Baby told PTI.
Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas alleged conspiracy by the Centre to stall the development of Kerala.
"The Centre is violating all federal principles of the Constitution and this protest is from the people of Kerala," Brittas told PTI.
Senior leaders from CPI(M) and LDF, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's wife and daughter, participated in the protest in Thiruvananthapuram.