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CPM, BJP War Takes a Break as Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Meets New Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam

Recalling that Kannanthanam had started his political journey from Kerala, CM Vijayan said he had an impressive term as an independent MLA. The good work he has done has now taken him to the new heights.

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Updated:September 6, 2017, 8:13 PM IST
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CPM, BJP War Takes a Break as Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Meets New Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan with Union Tourism, Electronics & IT Minister Alphons Kannanthanam. Image: Twitter
New Delhi: Newly designated Tourism, Electronics & IT Minister Alphons Kannanthanam met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Wednesday and both vowed to work together for the welfare of the state, according to an official statement by the Government of Kerala.

“It is Pinarayi Vijayan who brought me into politics. Kerala lays a lot of stress on tourism and IT and we can work together on a lot of issues. The meal we shared today is the beginning of this partnership,” the statement quoted Kannanthanam as saying.

Recalling that Kannanthanam had started his political journey from Kerala, CM Vijayan said he had an impressive term as an independent MLA. The good work he has done has now taken him to the new heights.

Over a spread of Kerala fare including rice, appam, vegetable stew, fish curry and payasam, the two leaders discussed status of Central projects currently underway in Kerala.

The meeting and the bonhomie between the two leaders stood in stark contrast to the bitter political fight that Kannanthanam’s BJP is engaged with Vijayan’s CPM in Kerala. In fact, the new Union minister who is now a national executive member of the BJP had started his political plunge on the other side as an independent MLA supported by CPM in 2006. Wednesday’s meeting was also attended by CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

John Brittas, media advisor to Pinarayi Vijayan, said the CM and Kannanthanam knew each other too well to let politics overtake their personal equation.

“In fact, one of the first things the Union minister said as he shook hands with the CM was about the first meeting they had long ago in Alappuzha, which led to him contesting state assembly polls. Kannanthanam also remarked that to launch his political career and to contest his first election he didn’t have to carry any one’s suitcase or even a soapbox,” Brittas said.

The two undertook a quick review of sorts of projects underway. “The CM was impressed that he took the pain of familiarizing himself with key projects within a few hours of taking charge as Union minster,” Brittas said.

News18 also learns that the CM and the Union minister will make a joint presentation to the Prime Minister on four crucial missions that are currently underway in Kerala. These are on environment and cleanliness, health, housing for the poor and making government schools smart so that they can rise up to the standards of private institutions. However, this could not be independently verified. They also discussed potential for electronic hardware production in Kerala besides development of value-added IT such as artificial intelligence.

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