Thiruvananthapuram/Kochi: Kerala seems to be running for many firsts and succeeding too. The state with the highest number of literates is the one with the highest number of suicides too. As you think up the link, here is another first - Kerala has hit a ton in hartals with the October 16 blockade called by the United Democratic Front (UDF).
The adage, 'God's own Country' may well be changed to 'Strikes own Country' if the trend continues.
According to the information released by the collective, 'Say No to Hartal', the state has seen 99 hartals in past 10 months, including two statewide blockades.
Most number of hartals were reported in June, 21. In July it was 19 and January saw 17 hartals. The report cites political violence as the major reason for hartals in state. CPM-BJP clashes caused over 30 hartal days.
For a scorecard, the BJP and its allies called 38 hartals; and the CPM and the UDF 14 each.
Plea in HC
Meanwhile, Sojan Paviyanose of Madappally, near Changanassery, has filed a petition in the Kerala High Court challenging the hartal called by the UDF. It seeks the HC to register a case against Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala for calling for a hartal.
He alleged that such an exhortation was in violation of section 166 of the Indian Penal Code (public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person).
A division bench of the HC had declared hartal illegal and unconstitutional in 2000 (Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi v/s State of Kerala), the petition said.
The petitioner said the court should declare that Chennithala would be personally liable for all the loss that occurred in the hartal.