Kerala

UDF, LDF lock hornsover CAG report leak

Conspiracy hatched by some centres, says Tourism Minister

The ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) have locked horns over Chief Secretary Tom Jose’s statement alleging leakage of contents of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report before it was tabled in the Assembly.

The Chief Secretary’s statement has created a storm with the two rival fronts sparring over the issue.

The CAG report had put the State Police Chief Loknath Behara in the dock over the alleged diversion of funds and violation of guidelines in implementing various projects in the police force.

The report, which was tabled in the House on February 12, had also found 25 INSAS rifles and over 12,000 cartridges missing from the Special Armed Police battalion .

“Even before it was tabled, there were doubts that some contents of the report had been leaked. In the name of the CAG report, indulging in character assassination was not a good precedent,” the Chief Secretary had said in a statement on Friday. His statement that it was the ‘violation of democratic propriety to put the officer under media trial’ has also invited flak.

Tourism and Cooperation Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Saturday said it was senior Congress legislator P. T. Thomas who raised the points in the House before the CAG report was tabled in the House.

“When the entire issue was analysed, it was suspected that there was a possibility of conspiracy. There is no doubt that a conspiracy was hatched by some centres,” he alleged.

The UDF stepped up its demand for a comprehensive probe into the findings of the CAG report with the Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala saying that Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan was in the know of the corruption.

“The revelations are shocking and it appears that there is a mafia that controls the police and it is dangerous,” Mr. Chennithala told a press conference here.

“Mr. Vijayan is also responsible for the contents of the CAG report, as he is the Home Minister. The Chief Secretary’s statement is also baffling. There is a strong nexus and things have to be probed,” the Leader of the Opposition said. The political affairs committee of the Congress will meet on Tuesday to decide the nature of the protest to be initiated on this front, he said.

BJP view

The BJP also came out against the LDF government with the Union Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muralidharan stating on Saturday that the Union Finance and Home Ministries had taken a serious view of the matters mentioned in the CAG report.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 4:08:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/udf-ldf-lock-hornsover-cag-report-leak/article30831620.ece

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