KOCHI: Union Minister Vayalar Ravi has advised the Left Democratic Front government to work with the Centre to secure the State’s share of development projects.
“I would urge the Stage government to work in cooperation with the Central government and to stay off the confrontation course,” Mr. Ravi told a news conference here on Sunday.
It was Mr. Ravi’s first visit to the city after swearing in as Minister on Friday.
He pointed out that this time, there would be 16 MPs from the United Democratic Front in Delhi and the State government could make use of them to get Kerala’s projects cleared. For this, the State government needed a proactive approach.
He said the delay in the Vallarpadom container project was not the Centre’s fault, but because of the long delay on the part of the State government in acquiring land.
He said the second United Progressive Alliance government would pay more attention to pro-poor programmes. The experience of the first term showed that the more pro-poor the policies, the more the rural people favoured the government at the polls. “This is the lesson we have learned from the earlier term of the government,” he said.
Mr. Ravi said that as Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs in the last government, he had initiated many programmes, but many of these, such as a contributory welfare scheme for Non-Resident Indians, were yet to be finalised. There was a proposal to set up a number of Pravasi (non-resident) universities, one of them in Kerala. He said there could be more Keralites in the Union Council of Ministers in the future.
A Correspondent writes from Nedumbassery:
Mr. Ravi was accorded a grand reception by the Congress at the airport at Nedumbassery on Sunday.
Senior party leaders, including the former Minister T.H. Musthafa, were present. Mr. Ravi said Kerala was all set to get more representation in the Union Cabinet.