A minor fire followed by smoke at the venue of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's mass contact programme held here amid tight security gave tense moments to police and other officials on Friday.
Chandy was accepting petitions from the people waiting outside the auditorium when the fire was noticed at the electric switchboard placed inside the auditorium. However, it was put out immediately, police said.
According to preliminary report, short circuit was stated to be reason for the fire, police said.
Chandy continued the programme despite the incident which occurred in the afternoon.
More than 2,000 police personnel had been deployed in and around the venue as part of security in the aftermath of the stone pelting incident in which he was injured, by Communist Party of India-Marxist led LDF Opposition activists in Kannur on October 27 when an LDF protest demonstration against Chandy turned violent.
Earlier, inaugurating the Jana Samparka Paripadi, Chandy rejected the criticism by CPI-M led Opposition against his mass contact programme, and asserted that the programme would help to resolve the problems of the people without red tapism.
The Government was trying to implement measures to redress the grievances of people with the experiences and feed back obtained from each JSP, he said.
Meanwhile, police prevented the LDF protesters who tried to march to the programme venue at the College Junction.
Over the last few months LDF was on an agitation path demanding the resignation of Chandy over the solar panel scam in which several persons were allegedly cheated of huge sums by one Saritha Nair and Biju Radhakrishnan through their firm offering solar energy solutions.
Both Saritha and Biju are in judicial custody in various cases filed on complaints by the duped investors.
The opposition LDF has launched a sustained campaign over the issue alleging that the fraudsters had the support of the Chief Minister's Office, but Chandy has rejected demands for his resignation.