Though Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s mass contact programme here on Friday was intended primarily to redress the grievances of over 500 people who had applied online over the past few months, every single person who walked into the venue with their litany of woes got a patient hearing from the Chief Minister.
Even though it was raining heavily, hundreds continued to pour into the Central Stadium here in the afternoon with their petitions held close to their chests. Policemen on duty were seen politely directing people to the right places.
After giving a patient hearing to over hundreds of petitioners and redressing their grievances, Chandy began accepting petitions from another 5,000 new applicants during lunch break.
With the Chief Minister continuing to meet the petitioners who had prior appointment with him well after 6 pm, repeated announcements were made that Chandy will meet each and every new petitioner, no matter how long it takes. “The Chief Minister will not leave the place until he hears the last complaint,” came the announcement.
V Anitha from Anayara here had sought assistance from the Chief Minister two months ago. After registering her petition online, she was given an appointment on Friday.
The 44-year-old housewife, who donated her kidney to her bedridden husband - the family’s sole bread winner - was given a financial assistance of `50,000. Besides issuing directions to provide her a BPL ration card, Chandy also promised to provide financial assistance for the entire treatment expenses for her husband. With a glimmer of hope in her eyes, Anitha’s neighbour Latha was seen patiently waiting for her turn. It was when Anitha told her about the appointment with the Chief Minister that Latha thought of accompanying her.
A mother of two teenaged daughters, Latha had been running from pillar to post for financial assistance to meet her husband’s treatment expenses. Her husband Surendran is recuperating from a major heart surgery and Latha’s salary of Rs 3,500 as a casual labourer is not of much help.
“I am sure that the Chief Minister will help my family,” Latha said. Even though a long queue lay ahead, hundreds like Latha will wait for their turn till the wee hours of Saturday, when the mass-contact programme is expected to conclude.
‘Our Silence not a Sign of Weakness’
Pathanamthitta: KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala has cautioned those leaders of the UDF constituents, who resort to attack the Congress,saying that the silence of the party should not be taken for granted. Chennithala said that the silence taken by the Congress on ethical grounds should not be considered as sign of weakness.