Anti-industry image: Kerala CM hits back at detractors

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Thiruvanathapuram, Feb 4 (PTI) Brushing aside criticismof his anti-development image, Kerala Chief Minister V SAchuthanandan today said his government has successfully tiedup with TECOM Investments in setting up the SmartCity ITproject while fully protecting the state''s interests.

"Development did not mean extending largess to investors.

The LDF aim''s was to implement development projects whileprotecting the interest of the state," he told reporters.

Referring to former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy''scriticism that the project was delayed for four-and-a halfyears, Achuthanandan said it was quite natural that the UDFwould be disheartened with the signing of the agreement as itcame as an "unexpected development" for them.

Achuthanandan said hurdles for the project came followingthe dispute over the ''free hold land'' (the right in a propertyto hold it with a perpetual right issue) raised by the Dubai-based company.

"However, all matters had been sorted out now and TECOMhas agreed to commence the work within one week. Chandy, whodescribed me as anti-development, should apologise to thestate''s people," he said.

The 87-year-old leader did not rule out the possibilityof his leading the CPI-M-led LDF in the coming Assembly polls.

"Time is not ripe to answer such questions. Let theelection come and I will tell you," Achuthanandan said whenasked whether he would be leading the LDF.

The CPI-M has appointed a Commission to probe theallegations against party state committee member and formerKannur District Secretary P Sasi in the ''Icecream Parlour''case, Achuthanandan said when asked about the sex scandal.

Though Sasi was removed from the post of districtsecretary on health grounds, there were allegations that hehad misbehaved with women party functionaries.

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