Kozhikode CPI(M) State secretary M.V. Govindan on Saturday made a strong pitch for the SilverLine project, the semi-high-speed-rail project that was reportedly put on the back burner following widespread protests, during an event to welcome the party’s ongoing Janakeeya Prathirodha Jatha here.
Mr. Govindan pointed out that the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) opposed the project because the political parties in that coalition felt it would change the face of Kerala. Their stand was part of a grand design in which a section of the media too had a role to play.
“Now we are seeing that the national highway development is going on very fast in the State. Work on most of the reaches of the highway are expected to be over by next year. That will bring about a huge transformation here,” Mr. Govindan said.
Along with this, if SilverLine too got implemented here, it would be a boost to the government. The UDF did not want such a situation as they might lose their political legitimacy. That was why they opposed the project, Mr. Govindan alleged.
The CPI(M) leader said the party was not against borrowing money to bring in capital investment to the State. In the case of SilverLine, a Japanese agency was ready to give loans at a small rate of interest and we were allowed to repay the amount in 20 years. By then, the project would break even and generate income. He claimed that Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K. Sudhakaran and Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan might know very little about how borrowing-led development worked in a capitalist economy.
Mr. Govindan said wayward tendencies in the party would be curbed. Action would be initiated against members if required, he added.