New Delhi, Jul 19 : An all-party delegation from Kerala, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, said their meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today over issues related to the state’s development was “not satisfactory”.
The delegation met the prime minister in the Parliament complex and submitted a memorandum raising various issues including reiterating the demand for a rail coach factory, enhancing allocation of food grains for the state, and a relief package in view of the damage caused by the ongoing monsoon there.
“We feel that the response with regard to the matters concerning Kerala was not satisfactory,” Vijayan told reporters here.
State Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, who was also part of the team, expressed disappointment and said that the delegation failed to get any favourable response from the prime minister.
“Until reaching here, our hopes for a coach factory at Palakkad was alive. But now it was clear the Centre has no such plans. We explained the need for such a project to the Prime Minister,” Vijayan said.
The delegation also sought enhancement of the allocation of food grains for the non-priority sector to 11.22 lakh million tonnes (MT) per annum by providing additional allocation of 72,3476.88 MT of food grains to Kerala as the state has very low food grain production and mainly depends on Centre and other states.
“The prime minister said that it was not possible to enhance the allocation of food grains for the state alone. He said Kerala will get its part as per the Food Security Act,” Vijayan said.
The all-party team also demanded that Angamali-Sabari railway line be constructed to facilitate those visiting Sabarimala temple.
The delegation was informed that the Centre would take appropriate steps to tackle the monsoon woes of the state.
“Kerala is experiencing heavy rains leading to the catastrophic loss to life and property in 965 villages. Over 30,000 individuals have been relocated, 90 lives have been lost, crop loss in 10,000 hectare and 350 houses have been fully damaged and over 9,000 houses are partially damaged,” the delegation told Modi in the memorandum.
The state leaders urged the Centre to consider deputing a central team at the earliest to assess the damages caused by the ongoing southwest monsoon.
The delegation has also asked the Centre not to sell its stake in the Hindustan Newsprint Limited, a subsidiary of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL).
Earlier, the Kerala legislative Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution requesting the Centre to retain the unit under public sector.
It has also informed the prime minister that the state was willing to take over its assets through mutual discussions.
However, the delegation failed to get a favourable decision in this regard also, Chennithala said.
The delegation also comprised state Congress chief M M Hassan, state ministers P Thilothaman, Kadannapalli Ramachandran, G Sudhakaran, MPs E T Mohammed Basheer, Jose K Mani (Kerala Congress-Mani) among others.
The chief minister had earlier expressed displeasure over the manner in which his previous requests to meet the prime minister were turned down.
Vijayan was allegedly denied an appointment on June 21 to meet Modi for the fourth time in a row.(PTI)