THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPM and BJP leaders shared the same venue to extend support to the movement to end the ongoing coastal protest against Vizhinjam port project, in Thiruvan-anthapuram. The support came from CPM district secretary Anavoor Nagappan and BJP district secretary V V Rajesh, during a march organised by the Action Council in front of the Secretariat on Tuesday. It is for the first time that the leaders shared the same venue on the issue even though both parties had independently announced their support to the project earlier.
Anavoor said the CPM would support all peaceful protests against the anti-port protest. “No government can stop the port project. Those behind the protest against the project know the reality. The government has agreed to pay the rent for families that lost their houses in coastal erosion. So far the rent for 134 families has been handed over,” he said.
He said the protest led by the Latin Church was aimed at creating a riot in Vizhinjam as both government, people and the court are against their protest. BJP leader Rajesh said that there was a possibility of a riot in the area.
“Vizhinjam port is a joint project by the Centre and the state. We will extend all support to make the port a reality,” he said. General Education Minister V Sivankutty, in a separate function, said that the Vizhinjam protestors were trying to foment a riot.
According to him, the protestors were trying to create terror by burning boats and nets. He accused them of dragging the former archbishop Soosa Pakiam, who is undergoing treatment, to the protest. The minister warned that the protestors will be responsible if the health of the pontiff worsens. Vicar General of the Thiruvananthapuram Latin Archdiocese, Eugine H Pereira, however, said that there were concerted attempts to destabilise the protest of fishermen.