Kerala CM Chandy dismisses reports of leadership change

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Thiruvanthapuram, April 29: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday dismissed reports relating to demand for leadership change in Kerala from a section of Congress workers.

"It is all your (media) creation," Chandy told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

oommen-chandy

Asked about the comment of dissident KC-M MLA P C George that UDF government would not last its full term, Chandy quipped "anyone can say anything. There is no gag on anyone for making statements".

Chandy's remark came against the backdrop of reports that "I" faction loyal to former KPCC President and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala was reportedly unhappy over government's functioning hit by solar and bar bribery scams. [Kerala: UDF with wafer-thin majority, expels ally from key post]

To a question on KGS promoted Aranmula airport, Chandy said the project was accorded sanction by the previous CPI-M-led LDF government.

"UDF government has made its stand clear on the matter. It will not oppose the project cleared by the previous government," he said, adding, it was the responsibility of the promoter to get necessary clearance for the project and it was the duty of the Centre to give clearance.

"If the promoter comes with necessary sanction, state government will provide full support," he added.

Centre had recently given approval for KGS group to conduct an environment impact study on the project, opposed by environmentalists and Opposition parties including BJP in the state.

The proposed project in Pathanamthitta district had run into trouble from the very beginning with environmental activists and local Aranmula Heritage Protection Committee coming out against the project.

National Green Tribunal has found violations in getting sanction for the project and denied sanction for it.

A CAG report tabled in Parliament last year had also found a series of violations in the process of getting clearance for the project.

On the Vizhinjam International Deepwater Seaport project, Chandy said nobody would be allowed to sabotage the 'dream' project of the state and effort now was to implement the project transparently by protecting state's interest.

"Only one company submitted the tender now and a decision would be taken soon," he added.

Gujarat based multinational Adani Ports is the only bidder for the development of the multi-crore Vizhinjam International Deepwater Seaport project when deadline for tender bids expired on April 24.

PTI

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