LDF government’s tenacity made Vizhinjam port a reality

The first ship comes to Vizhinjam at a time when the government is facing severe flak from the Opposition on the political front. 
Vizhinjam Port in Thiruvananthapuram.
Vizhinjam Port in Thiruvananthapuram.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The arrival of the first large ship to Vizhinjam port is a momentous occasion for the LDF government as it is the first major multi-crore international project that has been completed by it after it was forced to abandon the ambitious K-Rail project.

The first ship comes to Vizhinjam at a time when the government is facing severe flak from the Opposition on the political front. The realisation of the mega project is a morale booster for the government which has been facing a slew of allegations. 

In the past few months, the government has been struggling to overcome the scams that rocked it - from the Karuvannur Bank issue to the CMRL monthly payment row involving the CM’s daughter. With the LS elections nearing, the Opposition had launched an all-out attack against the CM. 

This prompted the LDF to organise various initiatives, including CM’s regional meeting to constituency-level initiatives, to counter the Opposition onslaught. The CM and his cabinet colleagues are all set to tour 140 constituencies in the state from November 18. 

The completion of the Vizhinjam port has come as a formidable weapon for the CM and LDF to counter the Opposition charges. “We are of the view that with this achievement the government can approach people by showcasing its development agenda,” a CPM state committee member told TNIE.

“Though the opposition claims credit for starting work on the Vizhinjam project, in the eyes of the people it is the  We will make people aware of how the Opposition tried to sabotage the project during its implementation stage,” he said.    

The ruling LDF and CPM have decided to raise it as a political agenda. The CPM has asked its area committees to organise marches on October 15 across the state on the occasion of keeping one of the major promises given to the people by the LDF government and chief minister. The LDF has also given a call to distribute sweets and organise celebrations to mark the occasion. 

With the UDF trying to claim credit for the port project by demanding to name it after former CM Oommen Chandy, the LDF is treading a cautious path. 

For the ruling party, the Opposition’s threat to boycott Sunday’s function has come as a blessing. CPM state secretary M V Govindan on Friday alleged that the UDF had joined hands with the forces of liberation struggle, the Latin Catholic Church, to torpedo the project.

The government and the front had again successfully overcome a section within the Thiruvananthapuram Latin Archdiocese’s attempt to dampen the celebrations by observing a black day in coastal areas. Chief Minister’s trusted lieutenant and Fisheries Minister Saji Cherian’s intervention by holding talks with the parish authorities of Vizhinjam was the turning point. 

The LDF government’s tactical approach of making direct contact with the aggrieved party has in fact bridged the gap between the local community and the administration. The Latin Church heads were forced to back off from their protest programmes and this has left the UDF alone on the protest ground.  

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