Hope has replaced despondency in Kerala: Pinarayi Vijayan at Times Square

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan addresses a Loka Kerala Sabha meeting in the US on Sunday. Photo: Screengrab/Facebook@PinarayiVijayan

New York: Hope has now replaced despondency that had gripped the people seven years ago, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here.

Addressing the Malayali diaspora in the concluding session of the Loka Kerala Sabha at Times Square, Vijayan said he was able to lead a society that was facing doom towards development.

Promises made during elections are mostly forgotten but Kerala is an exception, the chief minister said. In Kerala, the promises are met.

Referring to the recently launched K-FON, Vijayan said Kerala is the only state with its own internet service provider. The Rs 6,500-crore coastal highway and Rs 3,500-crore hill highway are under construction, the chief minister pointed out the infrastructure development activities being carried out in Kerala.

Kerala is considered to be a less corrupt state, Vijayan said. The state has made giant strides in the health sector, which contained even COVID-19, Vijayan said, speaking in a mix of Malayalam and English.

Addressing the gathering, state legislative Assembly Speaker AN Shamseer said 'impossible' is not a word in Vijayan's dictionary. Organising committee chairman K G Manmadhan Nair, and NoRKA director Dr Anirudhan, too, addressed the gathering.

Finance Minister KN Balagopal, Jose K Mani, MP, and other prominent personalities attended the event, organised with the $2.5 lakh (approximately INR 2.06 crore) donated by Babu Stephen, the president of the Federation of Kerala Associations in North America (FOKANA).

FOKANA president and main sponsor of the event demanded an MLA for the Malayali diaspora. The chief minister replied that the Loka Malayali Sabha was organised against the demand for an MLA.

Cultural programmes, including a dance recital by actor Divya Unni, were also organised as part of the event, compered by MV Nikesh Kumar.

The chief minister will meet with the representatives of the World Bank in Washington DC before flying to Cuba on Wednesday, June 14. He will be in that country till June 17. He will return home on June 19 via Dubai.

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