Thiruvananthapuram, April 2
On Saturday, it was yet another day of a stand-off between the Pinarayi Vijayan government and the Opposition on the controversial K-Rail project, which is now getting intensified with Vijayan strongly batting for it and the others vehemently opposing it.
Vijayan in Kozhikode asked the media not to take a stand with a vengeance.
"We all saw how the media highlighted when a lady protester came with a child and the media glorified her. There is a time when developmental activities should get into top gear and we will go forward with K-Rail project as it benefits the future generation," said Vijayan.
But across the state on Saturday it appeared to be the turn of the Indian Union Muslim League – the second biggest ally of the Congress-led Opposition, when its youth wing activists clashed with the police at a few places when they strongly opposed the project, which they said will be the death knell of Kerala as it's neither feasible nor one which will benefit the state.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan was in for a surprise when he was going around in the capital city suburbs at Kazhakootam, an assembly constituency which he unsuccessfully contested in 2016. He walked into a house and he got a shock when the aged couple wanted the K-Rail project and the lady was seen hailing Vijayan as the icon of development and both of them were saying they will happily give their land for the cause.
Later Muraleedharan told the media, the house belonged to the CPI-M councillor and it's only natural that the inmates of the house will bat for the project and there was nothing surprising.
Likewise, former State and Union Minister and veteran Congress leader K.V. Thomas who continues to be miffed after being denied his sitting Lok Sabha seat at the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, said that for the development of the state there should be unity between the opposition and the ruling fronts.
"The attitude to oppose anything by whichever party should end. Development should be the common plank and anything which is good for the state should be taken forward," said Thomas dropping enough indications that he is for the project.
Thomas was in the news, when speculation surfaced that he might dump Congress and the rumour became stronger when he was invited to be a speaker at the 23rd CPI-M Party Congress to be held at Kannur next week.
But when numerous Congress leaders cried foul, the party high command intervened and asked him and Shashi Tharoor, also an invitee, not to attend it and the two said they will abide by the high command's decision.