Kerala State Youth Commission chairperson Chintha Jerome has landed in yet another controversy with the Youth Congress (YC) lodging a complaint with the Vigilance and Enforcement Directorate demanding a probe into her alleged stay at a resort in Kollam for nearly two years.
As per the complaint, Ms. Jerome has been living in a sea-facing cottage attached to a four-star property in Thangassery for over one-and-a-half years.
“The tariff of the three-bedroom cottage is up to ₹8,500 per day during season while it costs ₹5,500 during off-season. It means the chairperson had to pay ₹6,490 per day, including 18% GST, during her extended stay at the property and the total amount so far is around ₹38 lakh. We want to know the source of her income,” said Youth Congress State general secretary Vishnu Sunil Pandalam.
However, Ms. Jerome said she stayed at the cottage for her mother’s Ayurveda treatment and her house at Pattathanam was under renovation during the said period.
She added that the monthly rent of the cottage was only ₹20,000 and the allegations are baseless. “It’s part of a well-planned political attack and it’s quite distressing that I am forced to share the nitty-gritties of my personal life. We had to shift after my mother suffered a stroke as our house had no attached bathroom on the ground floor. She was under the treatment of Geetha Darwin, a close family friend who stays in the same building, and my mother needed constant medical attention for a while. After that, we both were travelling most times for commission sittings and other works,” said Ms. Jerome.
The Youth Congress leadership also alleged that Ms. Jerome, who heads a quasi-judicial body, had misused her official position and the resort was built violating Coastal Regulation Zone norms.
“We have also approached the GST Commissioner since she claims that the cottage was given to her for ₹666 per day though it’s classified as a four-star property,” said the Youth Congress leader.