Kannur: Amidst the stance of the CPM national leadership that the outcome of various impact studies would be crucial for the continuance of the SilverLine project, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday made a hurried move at the inaugural session of the Party Congress by aggressively pushing the agenda of the semi rail speed in his welcome speech. This was done to stymie any kind of opposition to his pet project during the discussions at the Party Congress.
The chief minister also announced that the projects announced in the development vision document presented by him at the party's state conference in Kochi would be implemented by the government. His announcement came at a time when there was criticism within the party that many things written in the vision document ran contrary to the draft political resolution prepared by the party central committee to be presented before the Party Congress.
Pinarayi took such a position at the inaugural session by anticipating criticism against the project from delegates belonging to West Bengal and other states by citing the debacles faced by the party due to the forced land acquisition made in Singur and Nandigram for industrial projects.
Pinarayi made his stand on the SilverLine project clear at the venue in the presence of the party's central committee members from Maharashtra who are leading an agitation against Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train.
Pinarayi, while welcoming the gathering in his capacity as the chairman of the organising committee, mentioned the SilverLine project when he was listing out the good deeds of the LDF government which got a second term.
Pinarayi said the state was trying to get the central government's clearance for a project that would enable a person to travel from one end of Kerala to another within four hours of time.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury had earlier cautioned that everyone had to wait until the outcome of the study reports while indirectly countering Pinarayi's position that the project would be implemented at any cost even if the social impact study went against it.
While ruling out the apprehensions of Yechuri and various environmentalist groups, Pinarayi said in his speech that factors like economic growth, social justice and environmental protection would be given equal importance while implementing the project.
With the announcement that the state government would go ahead with the move to invite more private investment in the higher education sector and foreign investment in the development sector as mentioned in the development document, the chief minister gave a subtle message to his detractors that there was no need to discuss these issues at the Party Congress.
The main controversy is that the central committee's political resolution speaks about curtaining private investment in the higher education sector, while the vision document mooted by Pinarayi has a stand diametrically opposite to it.
MINOR FIRE AT VENUE
The eruption of a minor fire at the venue of the CPM Party Congress created panic for a while. Fire and smoke were noticed below the stage just after the conclusion of the inaugural session.
The volunteers managed to extinguish the fire immediately. The incident occurred when the delegates were coming out of the venue after the inaugural session.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had left the venue by then while party politburo members were present at the venue. The incident occurred due to a short circuit.