Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M] central committee member and general manager of Deshabhimani E.P. Jayarajan, MLA, on Monday denied the charge that a landed property of the party mouthpiece in Thiruvananthapuram had been sold to businessman V.M. Radhakrishnan in a benami transaction.
Mr. Jayarajan said at a press conference here that the property had been sold to Danish Chacko.
Mr. Radhakrishnan was not in the picture when the land sale deal was made, he said adding that neither the Deshabhimani management nor he had any association with the deals that may have been made after the land was sold to Mr. Chacko.
The CPI(M) leader said he was not aware of any connection between Mr. Chacko and Mr. Radhakrishnan. If the former had re-sold the property, the Deshabhimani management could not be blamed, he stated. He said the property had been disposed of as part of an expansion project for Deshabhimani.
Denying reports that the property had been sold at a lower price, Mr. Jayarajan said the party had struck a deal to sell the property at Rs. 2.25 crore two years ago to a Thrissur-based individual. The management of the party mouthpiece advertised the property in the paper when the person backed off from the agreement.
Mr. Chacko was among those who had contacted the management, he said adding that the property had been sold to him at Rs.3.5 crore.
Reports in a section of the media alleged that Mr. Chacko was an employee of Mr. Radhakrishnan and that he had been posted as the managing director of Mr. Radhakrishnan's company, Capital City Hotels and Developers, for a few days to execute the alleged proxy sale of the land.
It was reported that Mr. Radhakrishnan was re-instated as the managing director of the company a few days after the deal.
Mr. Jayarajan said the report was part of an attempt to sully the image of the CPI(M), Deshabhimani and his political image.
Special Correspondent adds from Kozhikode: The Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) on Monday demanded an explanation from the CPI(M) leadership on the alleged sale of land.
In a statement signed by RMP secretary N. Venu here, the party, a CPI(M) breakaway faction, said CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and Mr. Jayarajan should come clear on the real estate issue.
The alleged sale of 32 cents of land owned by Deshabhimani at Manjalikkulam in the capital city for a ‘mere Rs.3 crore’ affected the public as the newspaper was formed from funds collected from the people, according to the RMP leader.