UDF seeks CBI probe into Sprinklr deal

CM trying to evade questions: Behanan

Published - April 22, 2020 06:55 pm IST - Thrissur

The United Democratic Front (UDF) has demanded an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the controversies surrounding the Sprinklr deal.

Addressing media persons at the Thrissur Press Club on Wednesday, UDF convener Benny Behanan said the silence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the issue was suspicious. “The Chief Minster is avoiding questions regarding the deal. His body language shows his disrespect to media persons and the Opposition. But even the court has questioned the credibility of the deal,” Mr. Behanan said.

He said the investigation by a two-member committee ordered by the government into the deal was just an eyewash. The government had not discussed it with the Opposition before appointing the committee.

Questioning the credibility of the Sprinklr agreement, Mr. Behanan said the Opposition had problems with the procedures, content and possible impact of the agreement. The clauses in the deal were neither in favour of the State government nor for the people.

Only the Sprinklr company would benefit from the deal. They had been given perpetual and irrevocable rights for using the data. It was a blatant violation of Right of Privacy, he said.

“The government failed to follow the guidelines before entering into such a deal. Even a file was not generated on the deal. It should be the Law Department which should frame the agreement. That was not done. It was not forwarded to the Finance Department. The Cabinet has not discussed the deal. The Centre should know about a deal with a company in another country. The Union government does not know about it. Even the allies in the LDF are opposing the deal,” he said.

‘‘Many argued that there is no corruption in the deal. We are yet to see its impact,” the UDF convener said.

Justifying the Opposition’s protest against Salary Challenge, Mr. Behanan said the LDF misused the fund collected after the floods.

“The Chief Minster’s Distress Relief Fund has lost its credibility. When people question it, the government is initiating Vigilance investigation against them. The government is looting the people by utilising the COVID-19 situation,” he said.

T.N. Prathapan, MP, and Anil Akkara, MLA, were present.

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