Business Standard

Kerala CM terms anti-Silver Line agitations as 'anti-development'

The CM also accused the opposition Congress and BJP of adopting a stand against the progress of the state, but warned them that the common people were aware of their motive

Silver Line rail protests

MoS V Muraleedharan meets people protesting against K-Rail Silver line project in Kottayam

Press Trust of India Thiruvananthapuram
As Kerala continued to witness raging protests by people against the Left government's flagship Silver Line rail corridor project, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday categorically made it clear that the multi-crore infrastructure initiative would be implemented as announced with the support of the people of the southern state.
Rejecting the ongoing agitations being reported from various parts of the state against the laying of survey stones, he said such demonstrations were against the development of the land and none of the projects announced by the government would remain only on papers. The CM also accused the opposition Congress and BJP of adopting a stand against the progress of the state, but warned them that the common people were aware of their motive. "The opposition Congress has become a group which stands against the progress of the land. The BJP also adopts a similar position...Whatever projects have been announced by the government, they all will be implemented with the support of the people," Vijayan said while speaking at a function in Kollam. However, opposition Congress-UDF and BJP reiterated their stand saying they won't allow the Marxist Party government to implement the Silver Line project as people of the state were vehemently opposing it and they would extend all support to the commoners who stage protests in various places. Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan said the UDF has taken over the anti-Silver Line agitation and would continue to remove the survey stones being laid by the authorities as part of the implementation of the project. "The people of the state will not allow such a project to happen in our state. We are with such common people. We will continue our fight," he told reporters in Kochi. Union Minister V Muraleedharan visited Madappally, a tiny hamlet in Kottayam district, where police had forcibly removed agitators including women as the protest turned violent two days ago, and lent an ear to the concerns of local people. Later, the senior BJP leader assured them that the central government had not given any nod to the state authorities to implement the project. "People won't allow the government to implement such projects. The Centre already made it clear that they have given no nod for the initiative. No one can implement such a project through the means of violence in the democratic India," he told reporters. Strongly condemning the alleged police action against people, especially women protesters, he sought to know whether the government was conducting the social impact study by dragging them on roads. Muraleedharan also charged that the "police high handedness" in Madappally was a "pre-planned" one as police personnel came wearing helmets and avoiding their name boards to block all possible chances to recognise them. Meanwhile, protests continued in several places in the state today including Tirur in Malapppuram and Chottanikkara in Ernakulam district, where a large number of people especially women came out on street protesting against K-Rail officials who came to install survey stones.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 19 2022 | 3:46 PM IST

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