Cong in Kerala to use K-Rail marking stones as election issue in bypoll

While the CPI-M led Pinarayi Vijayan government was caught napping over the protests that broke out every day when the K-Rail officials went around laying the marking stones for the project, not a single stone was laid after the Thrikkakara by-election was announced.

It was on April 29 that wide ranging protests broke out even in the home town of Vijayan at Kannur when the marking stones were pulled out by the protesters. The next day the by-election was announced and since then no marking stone has been laid.

Similarly, the Vijayan government gave instructions to K-Rail officials that no stones should be laid when the 23rd CPI-M Party Congress began at Kannur on April 6 and it was after it ended on April 10 that the laying of the marking stones resumed.

Meanwhile the Congress led UDF which is fighting hard to ensure the victory of Uma Thomas, the widow of late Congress legislator P.T. Thomas, with an increased margin has already taken up the stopping of the laying of the marking stones as an election issue.

Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan said the biggest joke of the CPI-M’s campaign is that they stand for development.

“I hail from Ernakulam district and every major infrastructure project here which includes Cochin airport, Kochi Metro, the laying of GAIL underground pipelines, Smart City and other similar projects, the CPI-M has objected to it at first, but we did not give any importance to their negativity and we went forward. It’s laughable when the Left says that the Congress is against development,” said Satheesan.

“The Left convenor E.P. Jayarajan now says K-Rail is not an election issue. What happened to bring this change. Till the other day, all through the state, there were protests when marking stones were being laid. Now why are they not laying the marking stones. We challenge them to discuss K-Rail – now it’s no longer K-Rail instead its Commission-rail. We are going to discuss this,” added Satheesan.

If completed, the K-Rail project will see a 529.45 km corridor connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod with semi-high speed trains covering the distance in around four hours.

Both the Congress and the BJP say this project is not needed for Kerala given the massive cost which they say will be in excess of Rs 1.50 lakh crores and will be an environmental and economic disaster.

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