For the first time since the protest against the Vizhinjam International Seaport launched by the fishermen led by Latin Archdiocese, Thiruvananthapuram, snowballed into a major crisis, the leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came together in support of the Vizhinjam port project.
The leaders rubbed shoulders during a long march taken out by a local collective which bats for the port project, to the Secretariat here on Tuesday. CPI(M) district secretary Anavoor Nagappan, BJP district president V.V. Rajesh and a local leader of the Congress took part in the long march taken out from Mullur. Addressing the people at the march, Mr. Nagappan said those who protest against the project should realise one thing that the protest cannot torpedo the ambitious Vizhinjam project taken up by the Centre and State governments jointly.
Be it is the Left Democratic Front (LDF) or United Democratic Front (UDF) or any other government, it is not possible to go back from the project, said Mr. Nagappan. The State has also handed over the rent approved by the government to as many as 134 persons so far. The rent will be given to them until the project-affected would be rehabilitated by the government, added Mr. Nagappan. Snubbing the protest by fishermen, Mr. Rajesh said the BJP would extend all support to the project taken up by the Centre and State governments.
Meanwhile, Minister for General Education V. Sivankutty said that the Vizhinjam Samara Samithy was trying to whip up deliberate tension in the area with a mala fide intention. Attacking police and setting afire boats and fishing gear are aimed at creating a chaotic situation. He also said it is a dangerous move to drag former Archbishop Soosa Pakiam M. who is undergoing treatment, into the struggle. If there is any kind of difficulty in the health condition of the former Archbishop, the entire responsibility lies with the Samara Samithi, said the Minister.