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Resentment over SilverLine brews within CPI

Though CPI leadership has openly endorsed SilverLine, the party has adopted a wait-and-watch policy for the time being.

Published: 02nd January 2022 06:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd January 2022 06:26 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite the Chief Minister and the CPM leadership reiterating that the government would go ahead with SilverLine semi-high speed rail project, resentment has been brewing within the CPI, the second biggest party in the ruling Left front. 

Sources said CPI ministers too are not happy about the project. Though CPI leadership has openly endorsed SilverLine, the party has adopted a wait-and-watch policy for the time being. There are indications that CPI may oppose the K-Rail project at a later stage.

Though there’s growing dissent in the party over how the state government has been going ahead without addressing people’s grievances and environmental concerns, none are willing to oppose the project openly. This is because CPI State Secretary Kanam Rajendran has said categorically that the party would not oppose the ambitious infrastructure project that was part of the LDF manifesto for the assembly polls.

Close on the heels of the project drawing flak at the recent party state council meet, a few senior leaders expressed their opposition within party forums. But the leadership feels it’s too early to oppose the project openly, and that the party can do so at an appropriate time. “Since it is part of the poll manifesto, the CPI will not oppose it for now. However, it should be implemented only after addressing people’s concerns. The project is right now only in its initial stage. At the right moment, we will make our stance clear,” said a senior leader.

Senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam is already under the party scanner after he stayed away from the delegation of Left MPs that met the Union Railway Minister seeking the Centre’s clearance for the project two weeks ago.In a veiled reference to SilverLine, Binoy Viswam said in a tweet that the state’s priorities should be different from that of Uttar Pradesh. 

Commenting on Kerala topping the NITI Aayog health index, the MP tweeted: “Different types of governance, different ways of politics! The Left and Right in politics denote differences not only in ideologies but in priorities too. That should be upheld.”

Party sources said a section within the CPM has also realised the ground scenario. “In today’s world, how many people would travel across the state daily? The ridership data shown in the DPR seems not feasible. Operating a couple of helicopters would be more viable than this project. The CPI is answerable to the people, and hence we will not ignore the public opinion,” said a leader.Environmentalists say CPI opposition may deter the government from going ahead with the current plan.



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