THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress high-command’s objection to the Adani Group, reportedly, is delaying the Letter of Award (LoA) to Adani Ports for the construction of the Vizhinjam Seaport project.
Ports Minister K Babu had announced on July 2 that the LoA would be issued on July 3, but so far no steps have been taken. An agreement for the construction of the port can be signed between the government and the Adani group only after the LoA is issued and the concessionaire forms a special purpose vehicle.
The Congress leadership is wary of the Adani Group whose chairman Gautam Adani is said to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the recent Aruvikkara by-election, the BJP had projected the impending deal between the state government and Adani as an accomplishment of the BJP government at the centre.
A top official with the Ports Department confirmed that the LoA could have easily been issued on Friday or Saturday.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy denied the allegation. Talking to reporters here, he termed such reports baseless and said that no one had objected to Adani. The reason for the delay was ‘’technical’’ in nature, Chandy said.
Once the technical procedures are completed, the LoA would be issued, he added.
The Ports Minister also echoed the Chief Minister. “Reports that the Congress high-command has expressed displeasure regarding the Vizhinjam project are baseless. No discussion has been held with the high-command about this project,” Babu said. The state government will take follow-up action regarding the LoA once the procedures are completed, he added.