THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan faced the anger of the coastal population when he finally visited Vizhinjam on Sunday evening. He spent nearly half an hour at St Mary’s Church talking to the people and assuring them no effort would be spared in tracing the still missing men.
On his way out by 7 pm, a section of the local people blocked his official vehicle. Following the ‘blockade,’ reportedly in protest against his delayed visit to the Cyclone-affected coast, the Chief Minister cancelled the visit to Poonthura and returned to Thiruvananthapuram in Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran’s car. He had arrived at the church by 6.30 pm. Addressing the large crowd assembled inside the building, he said the state government stood with the concerns of the fishermen.
He said the calamity triggered by cyclone Ockhi was unprecedented and the government would offer all support to the people. Meanwhile, the local people demanded they too should be involved in the rescue operations.
Vijayan said the demand will be considered by the government. The protests began as he was about to leave the church. He was accompanied by Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan and the Tourism Minister. Earlier, it was announced the Chief Minister would visit Vizhinjam first and then proceed to Poonthura.