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Kerala Minister takes potshots at own CPI-M's student wing

Author : IANS

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Thiruvananthapuram, June 24 (IANS) Kerala Education Minister V. Sivankutty, who rose in the CPI-M from the party's student wing SFI and then the youth wing DYFI, on Monday surprised all by taking a dig at present-day SFI activists.

Sivankutty is facing an all-around attack from a wide cross-section of students who passed Class 10 but are finding it difficult to get admission to Class 11 in the state government-run schools. For the past few days, angry student activists, affiliated mostly with the opposition parties, have been out in the streets demanding admission to all who have passed Class 10.

With passion running high as parents of the hapless students run helter-skelter for admission, the SFI, unable to sit idle, decided to take to the streets in Malappuram district, where the biggest shortage of seats in Class 11 has been reported.

Asked about the SFI protest, the Minister said: "It's been a long time since they (SFI) have engaged in protests. So it’s good that they have taken to the streets. I do not know what they have understood about the present issue. Nevertheless, let them find out for themselves what the problem actually is," leaving his audience chuckling.

Sivankutty, as a student and youth leader, was known for the numerous protests, where he was always at the forefront. Some had turned violent and led to police beatings, which took a toll on his health. He was however better known for his action in the Assembly in 2015, when as an opposition legislator, he, folding up his dhoti, and others climbed onto the Speaker's podium and damaged the computer and other electronic items there as the Left tried their best to prevent the then state Finance Minister K.M.Mani from presenting the budget.

He, along with five other then-opposition legislators, were charged under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and other provisions and the case is before a trial court here.

--IANS

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