UDF says ‘no’ to hartals on flimsy grounds
Published: 29th July 2017 11:43 PM |
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/KOLLAM/KOCHI: In good news for Kerala, the Congress-led Opposition has decided to stall the practice of announcing hartals in districts and at the panchayat-level by local UDF committees on issues of less concern.
Besides, all the constituent parties in the front—Congress, IUML, JD(U), RSP, Kerala Congress (Jacob)—and splinter groups of CMP and Forward Bloc have also decided that hartal calls given in the name of outfits will not be allowed in districts and down the line without the consent of state leadership of the parties.
Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) last week called off the statewide hartal. PDP Working Chairman Poonthura Siraj said the decision to call off the hartal was following the instruction of Madhani, who is also the party chief.
Kerala was the first state in India to ban bandh. In 1997, the Kerala High Court had declared bandh as illegal and the Supreme Court had rejected the then LDF government’s petition to reverse the order.
The decision by the UDF to stall the practice of announcing hartals on petty issues is a pointer to the change in mindset of political leaders, feel anti-hartal crusaders. “Happy to hear the UDF is moving towards our cause, even if partially. Though we cannot accept state-level hartals, it is a victory for us as there is some sort of control in the regional-level hartals,” says Raju P Nair, Ernakulam DCC general secretary and general convenor, Say No to Hartal.