One more Vande Bharat for Kerala

Move to regain Kanyakumari, wrest Thiruvananthapuram constituencies.
One more Vande Bharat for Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram | The State is likely to get one more Vande Bharat Express. The plans are to ensure maintenance works for the train at Nagercoil. The proposal for the train this has already been forwarded by the railways divisional office here.

The move is in the backdrop of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections where the BJP hopes to wrest Kanyakumari and make an entry into Kerala through the Thiruvananthapuram constituency.

The new Vande Bharat from Kanyakumari or Nagercoil is proposed to Bengaluru or Chennai. Though Bengaluru is high on the priority list, Chennai too could be considered. Alongside, there is pressure from the BJP's Tamil Nadu unit for a Vande Bharat to Chennai through Tirunelveli. However, the party's central leadership appears favouring Kerala. The result of the Karnataka Assembly election could decide the further course.
Since BJP has been coming second in the last few elections in Thiruvananthapuram, the leadership feels that there is a chance to emerge victorious here. This will also help it come out of the embarrassment of having lost last time its one and only seat in the Kerala Assembly from Nemom. It hopes to pitch its campaign on the developmental projects for the railways.

Another aspect favouring Kerala has been the overwhelming response to the first Vande Bharat. The Thiruvananthapuram-Kasargod Vande Bharat has garnered Rs 2.7 crore since its first week of operation. The Bilaspur-Nagpur and Ajmer-Delhi trains have just half the number of passengers compared to Kerala's Vande Bharat. This is believed to have prompted officials to push Kerala's case for another Vande Bharat. Ahead of the election, the Central Government has decided to allot four Vande Bharat trains to Congress-ruled Rajasthan.

As part of the development works in Thiruvnanthapuram and Tamil Nadu, Raiways is expediting the upgradation of Nemom, Kochuveli, Nagercoil and Kanyakumari stations and proposes to complete this before the Lok Sabha elections. 

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