A fuming Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday slammed the Central government for not taking into confidence the State before holding talks with the Vayalkilikal opposing a National Highway alignment at Keezhattur in Kannur district.

The protesters are demanding a change in the proposed realignment, since the plan in present shape threatens to take away around 12 acres of paddy field at Keezhattur, in which they have been cultivating since generations. The protest has received support from many quarters but the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Slamming the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for playing ‘dirty politics,’ Mr. Vijayan told the media in Delhi — where he is attending a meeting of his party — that the Centre has made a wrong move by deciding to interfere with the development of a national highway.

“The Centre has done a wrong thing by inviting those opposing the particular NH alignment while the State government was not invited to this meeting. This is the game plan of the RSS. What is even more surprising is that a Union Minister from Kerala (K.J. Alphons) was also present at the meeting,” said Mr. Vijayan.

He lashed out at the government as soon as he came to know that Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, had met the delegation comprising members from the Vayalkilikal, along with State BJP leaders and Mr. Alphons.

(A report of an expert appointed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests calling for examination of the alternative proposals was brought to the Minister’s notice. Mr. Gadkari responded saying that if the alternative proposals were economically feasible and good for future they would be considered.)

CPI(M) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan also slammed the move by the Central government and charged that this is a grave violation of the accepted norms in the Centre-State relations that the State government was not invited to this crucial discussion.

“This is being done purposely by the Centre,” alleged Mr. Balakrishnan.

What appears to have irked Mr. Vijayan most is that this issue was not discussed with him when he had recently met Mr. Gadkari.

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