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Stick to party line or face action, Congress Kerala unit chief to Tharoor

🔴 Tharoor has expressed support for the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government’s proposal for a semi-high speed rail corridor project in Kerala.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
December 27, 2021 3:46:38 am
Congress Kerala, K Sudhakaran,, Shashi Tharoor, Indian Express, India news, current affairs, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsThe Thiruvananthapuram MP said the project will spur development and investments in the state. (File)

Congress’s Kerala chief K Sudhakaran on Sunday warned of action against Shashi Tharoor if the MP fails to stick to the party’s line in the state, days after Lok Sabha member publicly spoke in favour of the proposed rail corridor in Kerala.

Contrary to the Congress’s opposition, Tharoor has expressed support for the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government’s proposal for a semi-high speed rail corridor project in Kerala. The Thiruvananthapuram MP said the project will spur development and investments in the state.

Addressing the media in Kannur, Sudhakaran said no leader has the right to reject the party’s stand. The state unit chief also said Tharoor may “not be in the party” if he does not adhere.

Explained

Govt’s big infra project

The Rs 63,940 crore-SilverLine project envisions a semi high-speed railway corridor through the state linking its southern end and state capital Thiruvananthapuram with its northern end of Kasaragod. The proposed 529 km-line, which aims to cover 11 districts, is believed to be one of the largest infrastructure initiatives of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government. However, activists say the project will uproot ecosystems and cause irreparable environmental damage along the the path of the route.

“Everyone would have their own opinion. If he is not yielding to the party line, he would not be in the party. If he is yielding to the party stand, he would be in the party. It does not mean that Tharoor has distanced from the party,’’ said Sudhakaran, also an MP from Kannur.

Last week, Sudhakaran sought an explanation from Tharoor after the Thiruvananthapuram MP did not sign a Congress petition —  addressed to Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw — against the corridor last week.

“Be it Tharoor or Sudhakaran, nobody has the right to reject the party stand. If a party takes a stand, all should stick to that,’’ the Congress Kerala chief said.

Tharoor’s reluctance to sign the petition and his tweet that “political differences should be set aside on some issues” created a furore within the state Congress last week.

Amidst criticism by senior Congress leaders, Tharoor also praised Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for his push for development in Kerala.

“Enjoyed discussing Kerala’s development with CM @vijayanpinarayi. On some issues it is necessary to put political differences aside & get on with growth. The young people of our state deserve opportunities that the current economic situation does not offer them,” he wrote on December 16.

This is not the first time that Tharoor has aired an opinion on investment and projects different to party line. Last year, he backed the move to privatise the international airport in Thiruvananthapuram after the Adani Group won the bid to run it.

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