New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari came down heavily on the officials who likely sat on files regarding National Highway development projects in Kerala.
The Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways chided the officials in front of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at his office in New Delhi.
"I was first a Naxalite. Then I joined the RSS. Don't force me to become a Naxalite again and trample over you," an irate Gadkari told officials who were summoned to his cabin.
"I know who the troublemaker is. I am the boss here. This is the fifth time that the chief minister is meeting over the same demand. Even I am feeling ashamed, “Gadkari said.
Gadkari ordered his officials to clear the files before the end of the office hours.
Soon after Gadkari issued the ultimatum, the obstacles for of land acquisition for the National Highway expansion was removed.
As the Kerala government had given assurance that it would meet 25 per cent of the expenses, the file on expenditure was approved by the central government on Tuesday evening itself.
Earlier in the day, Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi met Pinarayi. They reportedly discussed the issues of night traffic ban on National Highway (NH)-766 and implications of the proposed alternative route. Rahul also discussed with the CM relief and rehabilitation efforts in the state in the wake of recent floods.
A few months ago Pinarayi Vijayan had blamed the Sangh Parivar for the delay in highway projects in Kerala.
The Centre's decision to put on hold national highway development in the state was yet another attempt by the Sangh Parivar to destroy all that the state had gained over the years, the CM had stated.
“It looks like the Centre wanted to ensure that highway development will not take place in the state during the remaining two years of the LDF government,” he said in this context.
Pinarayi had also alleged that the BJP state president (Sreedharan Pillai) had written a “secret letter” to the Centre asking that the NH development in the state be stopped. “It is the sadistic mentality of someone who wants the people of Kerala to be forever trapped in traffic snarls,” the chief minister remarked.