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Old bus stand sets stage for a political battle

Special Correspondent

LDF takes over DYFI stir; UDF to start counter-attack

PHOTO: S.K. MOHAN

In protest: Left Democratic Front leaders staging a march to the Kannur municipal office on Tuesday demanding entry of all buses to the old municipal bus stand. —

KANNUR: The Kannur municipal bus stand is now at the centre of a political tug-of-war between the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) that is ruling the municipality.

The LDF has now taken over an agitation of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) demanding that all buses enter the bus stand, which is nearly defunct after the opening of a new Central Bus Terminal (CBT) last year. The new terminal was constructed on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

The LDF staged a march to the municipal office here on Tuesday, demanding that all buses leaving the new bus stand should enter the old bus stand. Youth Congress and Muslim Youth League leaders have already announced a counter-agitation against the LDF stir.

DYFI activists have been gathering at the end of the road along the Police Parade Ground, forcing bus drivers to take their vehicles to the old bus stand. The All India Youth Federation (AIYF), the youth organisation of the Communist Party of India (CPI), also extended support to the agitation.

They said they would continue their agitation until the municipal authorities met their demand that a bus shelter be set up in the old bus stand so that passengers could board buses leaving the CBT. They also demand that the municipality make public the terms of agreement for the construction of CBT.

The issue is feared to cause law and order problems here in the wake of the decision of the Youth Congress and the MYL to launch an agitation against the stir by the DYFI and the AIYF.

K. Sudhakaran, MP, has taken strong exception to the DYFI agitation, alleging that it would render CBT useless for the passengers.

He accused the police of helping the DYFI workers who force the buses to enter the old bus stand. He said the agitation was a ploy of the Left Democratic Front to use it in the upcoming municipal election.

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