Thiruvananthapuram: Setting aside political woes bothering the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Friday resumed his "mass contact programme" of direct redressal of people`s grievances, ignoring protest staged by opposition LDF near the venue here.
Launching the second phase of the programme after a recess of an year, Chandy said the thrust of the campaign was to bridge the gap between the people and government and speedy settlement of grievances through personal contact.
The experience gained from the campaign would be taken into account in government`s efforts to update rules and procedures for better governance and improved delivery of services, he said.
The first phase of the programme, which saw Chandy touring all districts around the state receiving petitions from all sections of the people on a host of issues from title deeds to delay in getting welfare pensions, has won the UN Public Service award for its efforts to improve governance.
The LDF, however, dubbed the exercise as a " mere gimmick" to cover up the failures of the government and deflect attention from issues like solar scam haunting Chandy.
Scores of LDF workers staged a sit-in near the programme venue as part of their boycott of Chandy demanding his resignation in view of the alleged role of his office in the solar scam, which saw promoters of a solar solution company cheating a large number of people of huge sums.
The protesters, including MLAs and MPs, were removed by the police.
Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, several state ministers, MLAs belonging to the UDF and a battery of civil servants and officials from various departments were present at the venue.
At the outset, Chandy said the exercise would go on till evening with a brief lunch break and people could directly come and air their problems to him.
Hundreds of petitions received in advance have already been forwarded to the departments concerned and prompt follow-up action on them guaranteed.