Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Monday indirectly confirmed allegations that former Public Works Minister P.J. Joseph had issued irregular orders on public works before he was dropped from the Ministry last week.

Asked about the allegations at a Cabinet briefing, the Chief Minister said the allegations had been raised by Ministers. “Will Ministers raise such allegations if not true,” he asked.

On the induction of a new Minister from the splinter group of the Kerala Congress(J) remaining in the Left Democratic Front (LDF) into his Ministry, Mr. Achuthanandan said the LDF was yet to discuss the issue.

The current issue was not of the Kerala Congress(J) led by Mr. Joseph leaving the front, but of problems over its entry into the Opposition United Democratic Front. “Are the media not seeing the issues over the merger of the Kerala Congresses,” he asked.

The Chief Minister said an all-party delegation would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday and submit a memorandum saying that the development of National Highways 47 and 17 be limited to a width of 30 metres in the State.

It would call upon the Centre to avoid development of the highways on a build-operate-and-transfer basis.

The Centre should make the investment needed for the development of the highways.

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