: The former Industries Minister Elamaram Karim was profusely thanked by Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Saturday for his cooperation with the Union Defence Ministry in securing projects for the State during the previous Left Democratic Front (LDF) government's tenure.

The function held here to lay the foundation stone for the Indian Coast Guard Academy (ICGA) turned out to be an occasion for a show of political camaraderie among leaders of rival political fronts. Mr. Antony used the occasion to thank Mr. Karim for the latter's cooperation with the Defence Ministry that resulted in the State getting six defence-related projects in the State during the past five years. Mr. Antony sought similar cooperation from Mr. Karim and his party, which is now in the Opposition.

The stone-laying ceremony turned out to be an opportunity for Ministers and leaders to discuss concerns over development issues. Mr. Karim himself gave the cue. In his felicitation address, the former Industries Minister said the ICGA project was the last of a series of developmental initiatives of the previous LDF government. Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty, who spoke next, told Mr. Karim that the Opposition should extend its support to the series of developmental initiatives that the new United Democratic Front (UDF) government was going to implement.

Mr. Antony, in his address, said there should be no politics with regard to developmental issues. “The Defence Ministry has no politics and there was no confrontation between the Defence Ministry and the State government during the past four-and-a-half years over developmental issues,” he said adding that he had no words to describe the kind of cooperation he had received from Mr. Karim as a Minister.

Now that Mr. Kunhalikutty was opening a new chapter, let the government and the Opposition, which is now stronger, cooperate with each other on developmental issues, he said adding that political parties should confine their political rivalry to the Assembly.

He said if there was such cooperation on developmental issues, the State would be a developmental destination in the country in five or 10 years.

  • State gets six defence projects in five years

  • Concerns over development issues discussed