Kerala

Jaleel rejects Swapna’s allegations

Former Minister K. T. Jaleel, MLA, has alleged that a toxic mix of political and business interests had prompted the UAE gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh to scandalise and defame him by raising “unfounded” allegations.

Dr. Jaleel claimed that a rural welfare organisation with alleged Sangh Parivar links had employed Swapna after the court released her on bail from prison. (Swapna had alleged that Dr. Jaleel had connections with the private group.) The organisation was engaged in a legal wrangle with a Mumbai-based group.

Dr. Jaleel alleged that Swapna's handlers in the organisation had a political motive to attack the Left Democratic Front (LDF) leaders. Dr. Jaleel said he knew the owner of the Mumbai-based group and reckoned him a friend. But, he had no financial links with the company.

Dr. Jaleel said the Mumbai group was involved in a civil litigation with Swapna's employer. The dispute related to the mobilisation and utilisation of funds to construct houses for tribal people in Attappady.

Swapna also alleged that Dr. Jaleel, as Higher Education Minister in the previous administration, had attempted to arm-twist Calicut University into according an academic honour to Gulf potentate. Dr. Jaleel said he had no role in the varsity's affairs.

The university Syndicate had conferred the honorary doctorate on the monarch, given his international stature as a world-renowned historiographer of the Indo-Arabian Ocean region. At the time, the Vice Chancellor was an academician who later shifted his allegiance to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Moreover, an Indian Union Muslim League leader was the Higher Education Minister. Dr. Jaleel had assumed office only in 2018.

Dr. Jaleel said Swapna’s insinuations against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his family were lies that would not pass the muster with the judiciary or the people. “The Chief Minister never seeks or accepts any personal favours from any person. He is above board in all matters and highly ethical,” Dr. Jaleel said.


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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 2:46:34 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/jaleel-rejects-swapnas-allegations/article65534327.ece