Thiruvananthapuram/Kozhikode: A letter written by BJP state president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai to halt land acquisition for the national highway has embarrassed the party leadership besides evoking angry response from the LDF.
Finance minister Dr Thomas Isaac, who released the letter, said people will not forgive Mr Pillai and his party for sabotaging four-lane NH. He said the four-lane NH is the backbone of Nava Keralam. Mr Pillai's move indicates to the low levels the BJP can stoop for their petty politics.
The minister said Mr Pillai should be declared as a common enemy of people of Kerala and boycotted socially for sabotaging the NH widening project of the state. The BJP leader should not be allowed to betray the people of the state, he added.
He said the NHAI was ensuring that road development work does not take place during the tenure of the present government. This clearly indicated the antagonism of Modi government towards the state government. The BJP state president has become a pawn in the hands of forces which do not want state's development.
The state government is firm on completing the project by 2020. The construction of flyovers at Thondayad, Ramanattukara, Vyttila and Kundanoor were taken up by the state government. Of these Thondayad and Ramanattukkara flyovers were dedicated to the people of the state last December. KIIFB has taken over the work of Vyttila and Kundannoor projects. The work on four-lane from Karmana-Kalayikavilla undertaken by KIIFB, is in progress.
Kodiyeri calls for protest
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has called upon political parties to rally against Centre move to block NH development.
The Centre's decision to hold up NH development is a challenge to people of the state and the country's federal system. The Centre is moving with a narrow thinking that the LDF-ruled Kerala should not develop.
Mr Balakrishnan said if the Centre failed to scrap the order, the CPM along with all like-minded parties would organise mass protests across the state. Besides, the party will explore the possibility of challenging the order legally.
He said the Centre's decision came at a time when the state government was taking steps on a war footing to complete the project by next year. However, the NHAI order to stop land acquisition proceedings in all districts barring Kasargod has come as a shocker.
Mr. Balakrishnan said the unilateral decision taken by the BJP government days before relinquishing office should be withdrawn at the earliest. The NH widening project was shelved by the Oommen Chandy government following protests against land acquisition in 2013.
However, after coming to power LDF looked into the genuine problems of those who had given land and took appropriate action. The land acquisition work was going on smoothly now.
The CPM leader said at some places the BJP and UDF had tried to create trouble but the government went ahead with the land acquisition work.
Pillai rejects charge
State BJP president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai has refuted the allegation raised by Finance Minister Thomas Isaac that he had sabotaged the National Highway development project in the state.
"I have only urged the Union ministry to stop the land acquisition process for a short time, as the flood victims wanted time to recover from the disaster. My letter only asked the ministry to take the legal steps towards land acquisition procedures," he told reporters.
"Anyone who has read the letter sent to the Union Minister of Transport Nitin Gadkari will understand this logic of what I meant. I am surprised how a person without knowledge of English language got a PhD degree. he said.
"A request letter from the Kochi NH-12 protest committee was put in the covering letter in my name and sent to the Union government. The letter just stated the grave condition of the people residing between Edappally-Muthakunnam NH- 17 stretch after the floods and hence to stop the land acquisition procedures in this area on a temporary basis," he said.
The people in this area who had already given their land for road development project have not received the compensation amount yet, said the letter given by the action committee. The State Government was showing unwanted haste in the land acquisition procedures, he added.
"Their dmand was sensible and this was why we decided to forward their plea to the Union ministry. Hence the finance minister of the state must act more logically and wisely before coming down to this low standard," he said....