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Centre has 'shattered' Kerala's hopes: Chandy

Centre has shattered Keralas hopes: Chandy

Thiruvananthapuram: The BJP government's budget has 'shattered' Kerala's hopes as there was no mention of IIT and AIIMS for the state or relief to rubber farmers, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Saturday said.

The state's long-pending demands for an IIT and All India Institute of Medical Sciences has been ignored, he said in a statement here.

The state had been assured about the two institutions and it had even identified locations for setting them up, he said.

Kerala, which is the largest producer of natural rubber in the country, had hoped that steps would be taken to contain the fall in rubber prices and that encouragement would be given to export agricultural products and spices. But that was not to be, he said.

However, he appreciated the Centre's decision to upgrade National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) to a Central University. "Allocation of funds for the works of Kochi Metro and startups are laudable. But what Kerala truly deserved was much more than these," Chandy said.

The expectations that the famous hill shrine of Ayyappa at Sabarimala, where lakhs of pilgrims converge every year from all over the country, would be converted to a National Pilgrim Centre, also did not materialize, he noted.

CPI-M state secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the budget had completely "sidelined" Kerala.

Even the essential funds for the revival of some central PSUs in the state had not been allocated, he said.

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