Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan stages dharna in Delhi against ‘no’ to railway coach factory in Palakkad

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NEW DELHI, JUNE 23,
In an unprecedented protest, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, along with Left parliamentarians, staged a dharna on Friday in front of the Rail Bhavan against the Railway Ministry’s decision to scrap the proposed ?550 crore coach factory in Palakkad district.
“Why is this government hostile to Kerala,” he asked.
“It is not an issue about a single project. It is about their approach towards the State. It also shows how the Centre is violating the federal spirit of our Constitution,” he told reporters. Palakkad MP M.B. Rajesh said the project was promised by Indira Gandhi in 1982. It was formally announced in the 2008 Railway budget, along with a coach factory in Rae Bareilly. In 2012, the State handed over 240 acres to the railways.
While the Ministry maintained that there were no takers for the project, Mr. Vijayan said, “We spoke to the Steel Authority of India Limited, and they are ready to take it up. But it seems the Union government has made up its mind against it.”
The Chief Minister recently received a letter from Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, stating that at present the required number of main line rail coaches could be met by augmenting the existing production capacity.
Goyal’s letter to Adityanath
However, even as he dropped the Palakkad factory proposal, Mr. Goyal recently wrote to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seeking land to set up another coach factory in the State.
The Ministry also planned to set up one at Sonepat in Haryana. “We are not against the setting up of coach factories in any State.
But you cannot drop a project for which even the foundation stone has been laid. This is discriminatory against Kerala,” Mr. Rajesh said.

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