Thiruvananthapuram: United Democratic Front convener and the former Speaker P.P. Thankachan on Tuesday denied allegations that he and his family had encroached upon 800 acres in Munnar. He also petitioned Speaker K. Radhakrishnan seeking an inquiry by the Assembly Petitions Committee or the Revenue Department into the charges.

Mr.Thankachan took objection to the allegations made by a CPI(M) member in the House on Monday during a debate on the adjournment motion on Munnar encroachments.

Pointing out that he did not have an opportunity to reply to the charges on the floor of the House as he was not a member, Mr. Thankachan said such wild and unsubstantiated charges were politically motivated and intended to tarnish his and his party's image. As a former Speaker, it was as much his responsibility as that of the State Assembly to prove his innocence, he said.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Thankachan said neither he nor his son or any other family member had encroached upon government land in Munnar. He had already initiated legal proceedings against CPI(M) Idukki secretary M.M. Mani and Vattavila panchayat president Ramaraj for their defamatory statements against him.

He was letting off the news channel which telecast the false news owing to his good relations with the media, he added. The baseless charge by Udumbanchola MLA Jayachandran using the protection of the Assembly was condemnable.

The allegations in the Assembly were intended to divert public attention from the current debate on the Idukki Collector's report.