M.M. Hassan, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson, on Thursday, said Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac had failed to protect the interests of Kerala lottery in the light of the recent Kerala High Court verdict.

In a statement here on Thursday, Mr. Hassan said the Minister had taken a position supporting the other-State lottery mafia and was functioning as their agent. He alleged that the Minister's refusal to order an investigation into their malpractices was because his hands were not clean.

Mr. Hassan said the Opposition had already initiated a debate in the Assembly and the time had come for a public hearing. The November 2009 Supreme Court verdict gave full powers to the State government to take action to regulate other-State lottery trade. It was only in recent times that the Minister had announced that he would discuss the implications of this verdict with the Advocate-General. The State government was criticising the Centre only to help the lottery mafia.