BJP, Congress hamper development prospects of Kerala, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan

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Pinarayi Vijayan

Kochi: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday lashed out at the BJP-led Union government and the opposition Congress for hampering the developmental prospects of the state and said the government will move forward with the proposed semi-high speed SilverLine project.

Vijayan, while inaugurating the public meeting after the 23rd state conference of the CPM which concluded here today, said the BJP leaders in the state were determined to hinder any development coming to Kerala.

Vijayan, in an apparent reference to the recent high court criticism on putting up the red flags of CPM along the footpaths, said many people are allergic to the red flag even now.

The high court had earlier observed that the flag poles were dangerously placed on the footpaths and said that political parties' meetings should not endanger the lives of the people.

The observations by Justice Devan Ramachandran came while hearing a plea the court had initiated on its own in 2018 on the issue of unauthorised installation of flag poles and flex boards on road sides.

"Many are allergic to the red flag even now. They see the red flag here, there and ask what it is. I only have this to say to them. The same question was once asked by feudal lords. This organisation grew by answering their questions. This organisation did not come into being with their support. It's not advisable to be like bulls that rage while seeing red. Keep that in mind," Vijayan said.

In his speech during the culmination of the four-day-long state conference ahead of the 23rd party congress which will be held at Kannur in early April, Vijayan also said the Union government has an aversion towards Kerala.

"We have approached the Union government many times seeking assistance to various developmental activities. For example, the demand for an AIIMS in Kerala. We have even approached the Prime Minister in this regard. But the BJP leaders from the state itself are hampering the developmental prospects of the state," Vijayan said.

He said the Congress party was siding with the BJP creating hindrance to the state's development.

"Even now, it takes over 12 hours to travel from the north to the south of the state through road. K-Rail is a necessity for Kerala. It is necessary for the people of the state. We wish to move forward with the K-Rail project for the benefit of the people of the state. This is something which a state government is supposed to do," Vijayan said.

Addressing thousands who had gathered at the Marine Drive here, Vijayan criticised the opposition Congress which has been up in arms against the Left government's administration of higher education in Kerala.

Vijayan said the Left government was trying to upgrade the higher education system in the state but certain forces were opposing that too.

"Why are our students going abroad for studies? They are in search of quality international level education. Our public education system is well-equipped. We are trying our best to improve our higher education sector too. We want world-class education for our students for the betterment of our state," Vijayan said.

Earlier in the day, veteran CPM leader and politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan was re-elected as the state secretary of the party in Kerala for the third consecutive term.

Party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the 23rd state conference unanimously elected Balakrishnan to lead the CPM for another three-year term.

Balakrishnan (68) became the party secretary for the first time in 2015, taking over the charge from his predecessor Pinarayi Vijayan. He was reelected in the Thrissur state conference of 2018.

The state conference has also elected an 88-member state committee and a 17-member state secretariat.

There are 16 new faces in the state committee, including DYFI national president AA Rahim and SFI national president VP Sanu, among other youngsters. There are 13 women in the state committee.


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