Kerala

Satheeshan seeks probe into ₹1,600 crore-corruption in purchases during pandemic

Opposition leader V.D. Satheeshan has warned of strong protests by UDF unless a probe was declared into what he alleged as corruption worth Rs. 1,600 crore in the irregular purchases made during the pandemic.

Talking to reporters here on Saturday, Mr. Satheeshan said that substandard PPE kits worth ₹550 each were bought for a three-fold inflated price of ₹1,600. He also alleged corruption in the purchase of one crore gloves.

“More than 3000 computer files and 500-odd other files were destroyed to keep the corrupt deals under the wraps. Besides, 500-odd files had gone missing from the health department. The corruption had taken place with the knowledge of the political leadership,” Mr. Satheeshan.

By suspending just one person, the government is trying to pin the blame on him alone. The purchases worth ₹1,600 have been made from a single laptop.

The companies, which usually supplied the medicines were bypassed and a file noting was made to give 100% advance to the newly chosen ones. The details of one of the companies could not be found even in Google raising doubts that the deal was done in the name of a non-existent company.

Mr. Satheeshan accused Union Minister V. Muraleedharan of opposing chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan during day time and then approached him to settle cases at the night. Despite openly opposing K-Rail, he then influences the Union Railway Ministry to submit an affidavit favourable to the project in court, he said.

Mr. Satheeshan urged CPI (M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishan to take back the leaflets the party distributed among people accusing UDF, BJP, and Jamaat-e-Islami as hand in glove in the protest against K- Rail now that the BJP position is clear.

Governor had called out the appointment of Kannur University vice-chancellor (VC) as illegal. He should have either ousted the VC or asked him to resign. The opposition had criticised the Governor for not ousting the VC. How can BJP interpret it as protecting the government, Mr. Satheeshan wondered.

The Kerala University VC should have placed the Governor's proposal to grant D-Litt to President before the syndicate instead of discussing it in secret with syndicate members. He said that the letter written by the VC, a copy of which was with him, is silent about holding a syndicate meeting to discuss the proposal. Mr. Satheeshan took a dig at the Governor for what he regarded as 'leaks' from the Raj Bhavan while openly declining to speak about the matter.


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Printable version | May 21, 2022 6:42:52 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/satheeshan-seeks-probe-into-1600-crore-corruption-in-purchases-during-pandemic/article38185454.ece