Thiruvananthapuram, March 20 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday sought the opposition’s cooperation for development issues.
Vijayan made the remarks after Congress legislator V.D. Satheesan warned that violent protests similar to in Nandigram in West Bengal could be repeated in Taliparamba in Kannur district.
Locals in Kannur are up in arms against a project to align a proposed bypass on the National Highway.
“Yes, even a section of our party is opposing the construction of National Highway in the village. New roads are a must for development, but we will under no circumstances buckle under pressure,” Vijayan said.
“It’s quite natural that people will oppose when they see their land being taken away, but that can be taken care of through appropriate rehabilitation programmes. I call upon the opposition to join us when it comes to development of the state… We should all be one,” he said.
For over an year, a group of people owing allegiance to the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist have been protesting against the road project. They are said to be upset over police action against them on March 14.
Janaki, 73 and a CPI-M activist, has been leading the protest. The village is a known CPI-M hub.
“The project was taken up without conducting proper studies. To break the protest, the CPI-M sacked 11 protesters from the party… We will see that under no circumstances Nandigram is repeated here,” the Congress MLA said.
PWD Minister G. Sudhakaran pointed out that three alignments were considered, but the present alignment was chosen as it called for least displacement.
“The problem is the protests are being led by a section of so-called ‘intelligentsia’ who have no other work but to create trouble. A large number of protesters are outsiders. A total of 11.50 acres of land is being taken and all except four people have agreed to it. No one needs to be worried as not a drop of blood will be shed,” Sudhakaran added.