Kozhikode: With the Congress losing power in Karnataka, too, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi will find it difficult to fulfill his promise of lifting the decade-old night traffic ban imposed on the Kozhikode-Kollegal national highway (NH 766) that passed through his constituency, Wayanad.
During his election campaign, he had promised to end the ban imposed by Manoj Kumar Meena, the then collector of Chamaraj Nagar district in Karnataka, on June 3, 2009.
However, the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Karnataka will not allow Rahul Gandhi to take credit for solving the issue, it is pointed out.
Mr Gandhi’s assurance was based on the hope that the Congress would return to power at the centre. With the Congress out of power both at the centre and in Karnataka, the people of the district will have to wait longer to get relief for their ordeal.
The Supreme Court in a recent order had directed the ministry of environment and forests and climate change to file an affidavit within four weeks on how to improve the alternative route in tune with the width and other features of NH 766 (formerly NH 22), hinting at a possible closure of the present NH.
According to K. Vijayan, a Congress worker, the people of Wayanad had hoped that their representative would become the prime minister. “Congress workers and leaders had raised such a hope,” he said. “But now the BJP will keep Rahul as a mere MP who can only plead for the mercy of the Central government.”
However, the Nilgiri-Wayanad National Highway and Railway Action Council convener T.M. Rasheed feels that the Centre will take a positive stand on the issue as not only Wayanad but the adjacent districts in Karnataka-- including Coorg and Chamaraj Nagar-- are affected by the ban.