Finance Minister T. M. Thomas Isaac will participate in the public debate on issue connected to sale of bogus lotteries in the State at the Press Club this evening.

The Minister recalled that he had challenged the Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy or the KPCC president Ramesh Chennnithala for the debate. However, they excused themselves and proposed to send a representative. In retort, he had proposed that he would send his additional private secretary M. Gopakumar to debate the issue with the UDF representative.

Dr. Isaac said that Congress Member of the Assembly V. D. Satheesan had voluntarily proposed to join the debate with the Additional Private Secretary. To ward off any criticism about his sending the additional private secretary to debate the issue with the Member of the Assembly, he had decided to attend the debate himself.

He said that denied report in a Malayalam newspaper that he had opposed CBI enquiry into tax evasion by Sikkim and Bhutan lottery distributors, amounting to Rs. 5750 crore. He had written a note in favour of the CBI enquiry in the file and sent it to the Chief Minister. The government took a stand in accordance with that in the court. However, the case was subsequently dismissed as the petitioner who had filed the public interest litigation failed to fulfil certain legal requirements.

He was not for an enquiry now as the government was convinced that the lottery distributors were violating the Central Lotteries Act. It wanted the Centre to act now. Only the Union government had the powers to take action against lotteries violating the Central law and he wanted the Opposition to press for that.

He said that certain people including a few journalists were behind publishing a series of false reports against him.