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Vijayan, Oppn Cong spar in Assembly over funding scam

The Kerala Assembly on Monday witnessed the first standoff between Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and new Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan over the alleged involvement of the state BJP leaders in an alleged fund scam during the April 6 assembly polls.

Updated Jun 07, 2021 10:54 AM

Vijayan, Oppn Cong spar in Assembly over funding scam

The Kerala unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is under pressure after RSS worker Dharmarajan registered a complaint at Kodakara police station that a group of people had attacked him after blocking his car on April 3 -- days before polling -- and looted an amount of Rs 25 lakh from him.

The police arrested several persons, and during the course of the investigation, BJP youth wing's former state treasurer Sunil D. Naik's name also surfaced. Naik is a close associate of state BJP president K. Surendran and the case turned into a major topic of discussion after interrogation of the arrested people led to unearthing of more than Rs 1 crore.

The police questioned BJP state General Secretary, Organisation and senior RSS leader M. Ganeshan, and party state Office Secretary, G. Gireeshan.

On Monday, on the floor of the assembly young Congress legislator Shafi Parambil sought leave for an adjournment motion to discuss this issue and warned the Vijayan government that there should be no attempt to do anything which will clear the path for them to say that there has been a secret deal between the BJP and the CPI-M, for a cover up.

Vijayan while replying to this said the Kodekara police station has registered a case about this and the probe has begun and is going forward in the right direction.

"By now, 96 witnesses statements have been registered besides 20 people have been arrested. Of the Rs 3.5 crores that was recovered, gold and mobiles worth Rs 1.1 crores have been recovered. The Enforcement Directorate had sought details and they have been given and they are also probing this," said Vijayan.

Then came the turn of Satheesan who said that Vijayan failed to give the name of the BJP or any of its leaders.

"This incident is now two months old and the police says Rs 9.50 crores was the hawala money that came, of which Rs six crores was given in various districts. In this the name of an RSS leader Dharmarajan has come out and about other BJP leaders, but Vijayan is yet to even mention anything about it. There should be no move to settle issues between BJP and the CPI-M. We all know that there was a secret election deal between the BJP and the CPI-M on seven assembly seats," said Satheesan and added that they have records with them to prove a few things.

Vijayan then got up and detailed episodes in the past where the Congress and the BJP were hand in glove to withdraw cases.

"Not long ago the ED came so fast after the Congress raised the issue (referring to the gold and dollar smuggling cases registered last year) and since it was a cooked up case, the speed was there, while this case is not like that and hence it will take time. Now that you have said you have documents to prove some things, please put it out in public domain," said Vijayan.

Meanwhile angry state level BJP leaders at Thrissur led by A.N. Radhakrishnan said the police is now trying to call the son of BJP state president K. Surendran for questioning in this case and this is nothing but being vindictive and it's best that the police do not resort to such tactics.

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