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Vijayan backs NRI investor Yusuf Ali

Vijayan backs NRI investor Yusuf Ali

Thiruvananthapuram: In a clear message to sceptics in his own party, CPI-M State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan Sunday said his party was not against NRI entrepreneur M A Yusuf Ali going ahead with his mega convention centre project in Kochi.

"We don't see any reason for Yusuf Ali to withdraw from the project. If the land deal has any irregularity, it is for the CPT and the Centre to examine and correct," Vijayan told a meet-the-press here.

He was replying to queries on the stand taken by CPI-M's Ernakulam (Kochi) district committee expressing doubts over the land deal in view of charges of irregularities against it.

Ali had taken land on lease at the Bolghatty island from the Cochin Port Trust (CPT).

Vijayan said his party would not stage any stir against Ali owned Lulu Mall at Edapally near Kochi on the ground that its presence has been causing huge traffic snarl in the area, as noted by CPI-M leaders in Ernakulam.

He said his party in Ernakulam has only adopted a resolution on the traffic congestion caused by Lulu Mall and suggested that a flyover could be built at the owner's cost.

It was for the state government to press for it and there is a provision for that in the municipal act, he said.

The CPI(M) leader said it was heartening to see that some individuals and a section of media had changed their "negative approach" towards investment projects by taking a positive approach in the Lulu group issue.

Asked whether by "individual" he meant his colleague V S Achuthanandan who had come out in support to Ali despite his record of opposing some of the land deals in the past, Vijayan said, "that is your interpretation and this not the time to debate that."

He said CPI-M had never stood in the way of investment coming to the state and the party was especially aware of the services and humanitarian approach of Yusuf Ali.

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