The second edition of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s mass contact programme in his current innings was rolled out as a smooth affair here on Friday, with the much-trumpeted threat of the Opposition LDF to unleash an intense wave of protest ended as a tame affair.
The event turned out to be a big solace for scores of petitioners and a political fillip to Chandy.
The LDF workers meekly called off their protest after three-and-a-half hours, reflecting the same sort of confusion which had gripped them during a Secretariat siege on the solar issue that was called off recently. That the people didn’t care for the Left protest was evidently clear, with the huge public turnout.
Tens of hundreds of petitioners, mostly from economically weak class and suffering from multiple health ailments as well as those claiming benefits under the BPL category, were granted instant financial relief.
Financial aid to the tune of `1.56 crore was granted to around 1,650 applicants at the programme that went on past midnight and substantial allocation was added to it later.
There were 565 applications, set for the consideration of the Chief Minister on Friday. Out of the 14,957 applications received in the capital district in a process initiated around two months ago, 14,392 applications were processed and cleared ahead of the exercise.
The venue was thrown open in the afternoon to petitioners who had come up with fresh applications. As many as 6,612 fresh applications were received till 9.30 pm.
The Chief Minister came down the stage and personally collected the applications from one and all who were jostling to catch his attention. He assured them all possible help at the earliest. Many applicants were brought in stretchers, lifted out of ambulances and wheel chairs. More: P4