New Delhi, July 19: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday expressed unhappiness after he led a 22-member delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek help on various issues concerning the state.
Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, the Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, agreed with Vijayan’s assessment and said it was “a disappointing meeting and Kerala has nothing to look forward to from his (Modi’s) response”.
“The outcome was not a favourable one,” Vijayan told the media after the meeting with Modi at Parliament complex.
“One of the issues we raised was the increase in the allocation of foodgrains and it should be on par with what we used to get prior to the implementation of the Food Security Act. But the Prime Minister said … nothing else can be done,” said Vijayan.
The Chief Minister added that when they left Kerala on Wednesday, the general impression was that there was hope for a Palakkad Coach Factory. But it was clear the Centre had no such plans.
Vijayan said they also raised the issue of the widespread damage caused by the ongoing heavy rains and floods in Kerala.
“We requested that a central team be sent and he said it will be done. With regards to the decision of the proposed sale of (public sector) HNL Factory (near Kottayam), our demand was that it should be retained by the Centre or transferred to the Kerala government.
“We also wanted the Centre to allow wide-bodied aircraft to land at Kozhikode. Overall it was not a favourable response from the Prime Minister,” said Vijayan.
Chennithala said: “When we spoke about the proposed sale of HNL, the response was that the Kerala government also can bid for it. The visit has been a disappointing one.”
The delegation also included state Congress chief M.M. Hassan, Kerala Ministers K. Ramachandran and G. Sudhakaran, former state BJP chief P.K. Krishnadas, E.T. Mohammed Basheer (IUML) and Rajya Sabha member Jose K. Mani (Kerala Congress-Mani).
During the meeting, Modi handed over a list of projects for which the Centre had allocated funds but which had not been used.
He also expressed his unhappiness that the lone Keralite Union Minister, K.J. Alphons, was not included in the delegation.