News Reading Practice #69

(100 Day Challenge)


Controversy over which alliance blinked first in the political stalemate over the demand for Oommen Chandy's resignation as CM in 2013 

G. Anand

The solar scam that rattled the Oommen Chandy government in 2013 and continued to make waves for years resurfaced on Friday to bedevil Kerala's ruling front and the Opposition alike. 

A retired journalist salvaged the controversy from political oblivion by suggesting in an article that the Left Democratic Front's mammoth siege of the government Secretariat in August 2013 demanding Chandy's resignation was political charade

The journalist, John Mundakayam, claimed that political deal-making and behind-the- scenes manoeuvring preceded the protest, which saw Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers, with little access to basic facilities, squatting on the road and sleeping rough around the Secretariat for nearly a day. 

The LDF called off the "indefinite siege" and dropped its demand for Chandy's resignation after the Congress-led United Democratic Front government agreed to institute a judicial inquiry into the scam and bring the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) under the probe's ambit. 

Leading political players privy to the 2013 events conceded on Friday that both sides had met halfway to break the deadlock. However, they vehemently disagreed on which side. blinked first. 

According to the then-Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Cherian Philip, then with the LDF, and CPI(M) leader John Brittas, MP, set the negotiations in motion at the LDF's instance. He said the LDF yielded ground by dropping its demand for Chandy's resignation. 

At a press conference in Kannur, Mr. Brittas claimed that Mr. Radhakrishnan had initiated the negotiations. He said the UDF had no recourse but to agree to a judicial probe covering the CMO. 

Mr. Philip, now back with the Congress, said CPI (M) leaders were sceptical about indefinitely besieging the Secretariat but had bowed to the then-Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan's pressure. Mr. Philip said Mr. Radhakrishnan was eager to stave off the LDF's demand for Chandy's resignation and avoid a law-and-order situation under his watch. 

Bharatiya Janata Party State president K. Surendran portrayed the controversy as another example of the opposing fronts' symbiotic relationship and politics of compromise. He said the CPI(M) called off the solar protests as a quid pro quo for the Congress' help in diluting the Revolutionary Marxist Party leader T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case probe. He said the BJP was the real Opposition in Kerala.

V.S. Achuthanandan leading the protest in 2013 demanding resignation of the then-Kerala CM Oommen Chandy.


HAUNT - Persistently trouble or disturb. (വേട്ടയാടുക)

COALITION - Temporary alliance or partnership. (കൂട്ടുമന്ത്രിസഭ)

STALEMATE - A complete failure to reach agreement or settle an argument (സ്തംഭനാവസ്ഥ)

RATTLE - To disturb or upset greatly (പിടിച്ചുകുലുക്കുക, അസഹ്യപ്പെടുത്തുക)

RESURFACE - To appear again or come back into attention (വീണ്ടും സജീവമാവുക, മിനുക്കിയെടുക്കുക, വീണ്ടും പൊന്തിവരുക)

BEDEVIL - To cause great trouble or difficulty (കുഴപ്പത്തിലാക്കുക)

SALVAGED - Rescued or saved (വീണ്ടെടുക്കുക, തിരികെകൊണ്ടുവരിക)

MAMMOTH - Enormous or huge (വലിയ, ബ്രഹത്തായ)

SIEGE - A prolonged effort to overcome resistance or control a situation (ഉപരോധം, വളയല്‍)

CHARADE - An absurd pretense intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance (കപടനാട്യം, പരിഹാസ്യമായ അഭിനയം)

MANEUVER - Skillful or strategic movements (തന്ത്രം)

PRECEDED - Came before in time or order (മുന്നോടിയായി ഉണ്ടാവുക)

SQUAT - To crouch or sit on one's heels (കുത്തിയിരിക്കുക)

CALLED OFF - Cancelled or terminated (റദ്ദാക്കുക, വേണ്ടെന്ന് വെക്കുക)

INDEFINITE SIEGE - A prolonged blockade or encirclement without a set end (അനിശ്ചിതകാല ഉപരോധം)

DROPPED - Abandoned or relinquished (ഉപേക്ഷിച്ചു)

INSTITUTE - To establish or begin (ആരംഭിക്കുക)

PROBE - An investigation or inquiry (അന്വേഷണം)

PRIVY TO - Informed about or knowledgeable of (രഹസ്യം അറിയുന്ന)

CONCEDE - To admit or yield (സമ്മതിക്കുക)

MEET THE TROUBLE HALFWAY - Find a compromise solution (രമ്യതയിലെത്തുക)

DEADLOCK - A situation in which no progress can be made (കീറാമുട്ടി, തടസ്സം)

VEHEMENTLY - Passionately or forcefully (ശക്തമായ)

INSTANCE - An example or occurrence (പ്രരണ, മാതൃക)

INITIATE - To begin or start (തുടക്കം കുറിക്കുക)

RECOURSE - A source of help or solution (അഭയം, ആശ്രയം)

BOWED TO - Yielded or submitted to (വഴങ്ങി)

EAGER TO - Very willing or enthusiastic (വ്യഗ്രതയുള്ള, ആകാംക്ഷയുള്ള)

STAVE OFF - To prevent or avoid (അകറ്റുക, ഒഴിവാക്കുക)

LAW-AND-ORDER - The maintenance of peace and obedience to law (ക്രമസമാധാനം)

PORTRAY - Represented or depicted (ചിത്രീകരിക്കുക)

CONTROVERSY - A dispute or disagreement (വിവാദം)

SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP - A mutually beneficial partnership (സഹവര്‍ത്തിത്വ ബന്ധം)

QUID PRO QUO - A favor granted in return for something (പകരത്തിന്പകരം നല്‍കുന്നത്, ഒന്നിന് പകരം മറ്റൊന്ന്)

DILUTE - To weaken or reduce in strength (നേര്‍പ്പിക്കുക)

PROBE - An investigation or inquiry (അന്വേഷണം)