Kerala invites PM Modi to inaugurate metro, date draws BJP criticism

CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Friday said the Left government has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the Kochi Metro to convince him that development has begun in Kerala. Addressing a party function in Kozhikode, Balakrishnan said Modi had compared the state to Somalia and Ethiopia while campaigning for the last Assembly elections and the government has invited Modi so that he declares there is development in Kerala too.

However, the government faced an embarrassing situation after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan corrected Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran over the date of the inauguration. Earlier in the day, Surendran had told the media that the first leg of the metro project, covering 13 km, would be inaugurated on May 30 and if the PM fails to turn up for the event, the Chief Minister would step in to do the same.

After the BJP realised that the date clashed with the Prime Minister’s foreign tour, the party’s state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said, “There is vested political interest behind that decision.” As the issue snowballed into a row between the CPI(M) and BJP, the Chief Minister clarified that the date for inauguration was not fixed yet.

“The date was not fixed. The Prime Minister was invited for the event on April 11. We understand the PM is trying to find a day for it. We are in touch with his office to get a convenient date. Out of some misunderstanding it was stated that the metro would be inaugurated on May 30,” said Chief Minister Vijayan in Kannur.

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