Cong-BJP-Jamaat-e-Islami alliance opposing development in Kerala, claims CM

PTI | Published: 31st December 2021 10:00 PM
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan (Photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

PALAKKAD: The ambitious K-Rail project of the Left government in Kerala continues to be a raging topic of debate with state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday alleging alliance between the Congress and BJP to oppose the development of the state, while Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan termed it anti-people.

Vijayan alleged the Congress-led UDF, the BJP and the Jamaat-e Islami have joined hands against the proposed project in Kerala and has been opposing developmental activities of the Left government.

He also said that the BJP was trying to use its power at the Centre to thwart the rail project, which is also known as the SilverLine project.

"In Kerala, the UDF-BJP-Jamaat-e Islami alliance has been standing against the Left government opposing all developmental activities in the state. BJP is trying to thwart the K-Rail project using its power in the Union Government," Vijayan said in the CPI(M) delegates meeting at Palakkad.

Citing a few pages of a purported detailed project report (DPR) of the SilverLine, which was out on social media, Satheesan on Friday claimed the project was anti-people and will put a huge debt on the people of Kerala and the burden will be transferred to the coming generations too.

Satheesan said the project was for the elite class of the state and asked how a Left government could implement such a project.

"The DPR says if the SilverLine project needs to be profitable, then the highways should not be developed and the AC ticket rates of the normal trains should be increased. The DPR also states that the SilverLine trains will be running empty unless the bus charges are increased. It seems like the SilverLine is a project for the elite class of the state," Satheesan told the media.

He said it was clear from a few pages of the DPR that "this is an anti-people project."

Vijayan said the people of the state will oppose ideologies that stand in the way of development and cited the examples of National Highway development and GAIL pipeline projects.

"Some media outlets are trying to exaggerate certain protests in the state. The development of the state cannot be abandoned and problems that may arise during the implementation of developmental projects will be resolved. Rehabilitation will be ensured," Vijayan said.

State Finance Minister K N Balagopal had yesterday said the state government will take people into confidence for all projects and hoped that the Centre's clearances for K-Rail initiative will come at the earliest.

The K-Rail project, also known as the SilverLine project, is expected to reduce the travel time between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod to around four hours, and is estimated to cost more than Rs 60,000 crore.

However, various political parties in the state are opposing the project citing various issues, including environmental concerns.

Kerala, in a memorandum submitted to the Centre at the pre-Budget meeting of state finance ministers with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday, requested support for innovative projects like the "semi high-speed rail (SilverLine) project by expediting requisite approvals from the Government of India".

Opposition parties in Kerala, including Congress and the BJP, have raised objections to the project.

In October, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the state assembly that approval for the SilverLine project was in the final stages.

Tags : K Rail SilverLine Kerala SilverLine project Pinarayi Vijayan V D Satheesan

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