Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State president V. Muraleedharan has demanded that the government institute an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the transfer of State-owned Kerala Hitech Industries Ltd. (Keltec) to BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd. Or else, Defence Minister A. K. Antony should disclose who were behind the deal.

The BJP leader told a press conference here on Monday that the Defence Minister had raked up a controversy over the industrial scenario in the State with a view to forestalling a discussion on the allegations relating to the transfer. Though Mr. Antony and others had said that Keltec was a loss-making company, it had made profit in the last two years before its transfer. The transfer to the Defence Research and Development Organisation was effected for a consideration of Re.1. This was when the assets of the company with 225 permanent employees were Rs.200 crore.

Mr. Antony had sought transfer of the organisation to BrahMos Aerospace which was registered as a private company. The Centre had only 50.5 per cent share in it while 49.5 per cent of the shares were held by a Russian company. This company was now competing for Defence Department contracts like a private company. The company incurred a loss of Rs.3.5 crore during 2010-11, Mr. Muraleedharan said.

More In: KERALA | NATIONAL