V Muraleedharan | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan has said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Vishukaineettam" (gift on Vishu festival day) this year is a Vande Bharat train service for Kerala.
"The demand for a high-speed train for Kerala has now been fulfilled. The Prime Minister takes special care of Kerala. Under PM Narendra Modi's leadership, the Centre is taking all efforts for development of Kerala," he said.
Muraleedharan said though the union government had earlier indicated that Kerala would get the Vande Bharat train, a campaign was unleashed that the state had been denied the train.
"The CM should correct himself and thank the Prime Minister," Muraleedharan said.
He also attacked the Pinarayi Vijayan government. "When there is a high-speed train, why should people give up their land in the name of the SilverLine project? It has become irrelevant," he said.
The rakes of the Vande Bharat train, which will be run by Southern Railways, reached Palakkad on Friday morning.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to flag off the Vande Bharat train service during his visit to Kerala later this month.
However, the Kerala government has earlier stated that a Vande Bharat service cannot replace the SilverLine semi-high speed rail project as the former is run on the existing track which is notorious for its slowness thanks to curves and lack of automated signalling. The Vande Bharat train will run in Kerala at the same speed as Jan Sadabdi or Rajdhani express.
With ANI inputs