Leader of Opposition and Congress veteran V.D.Satheesan on Monday took a dig at the ruling CPI-M in Kerala saying that the Left no longer has any Leftist ideology and is turning out to be an extreme rightist.
Satheesan was reacting sharply to sudden dropping of Joseph C. Mathew as one of speakers in an open debate on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s pet project-K-Rail.
In a debate slated to take place here on Thursday, the K-Rail management had invited three experts to speak for and as many to highlight the cons of the project. Mathew was listed among those opposing the project.
“The Chief Secretary had invited Mathew which he graciously accepted. But later, he was dropped for reasons best known to them which is not acceptable. This shows the mentality of the Left here, which is no longer based on any Left ideology but is an extreme right ideology,” said Satheesan.
Neither the government nor the K-Rail management has given any reason for dropping him.
As per the first list, the three who was named to speak against the project were Mathew, eminent public personality RVG Menon and Alok Varma, former Indian Railway official who had played a role in the initial project stage of preparing the K-Rail project. Those speaking for the project were Sajith Gopinath, former Railway Board member S.K.Jain and Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce president S.N.Raghuchandran Nair.
On Monday, Mathew was suddenly replaced by environmentalist Sreedhar Radhakrishnan. Likewise, Gopinath is also out and Kuncheria P.Isaac, a former vice-chancellor of the Kerala Technology University is in instead.
Massive opposition is being witnessed across the state where the marking stones are being laid to conduct a social impact assessment study for the K-Rail project.
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.
While Vijayan and the Kerala unit of the CPI-M is out and out for this project, the Congress and the BJP are against it given the massive cost which, they say, will be in excess of Rs 1.50 lakh crore. Besides, it would be environmental and economic disaster and would be a huge burden for the next generation, as per them.