KERALA

KPCC chief faces probe

Special Correspondent

Bribe charge rocks Assembly

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Government has asked Police Vigilance to investigate an allegation that Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala had received money from promoters of a private chit company, Himalayala Group, to help them escape action in a notorious murder case in which they were the accused.

Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan stated this in the Legislative Assembly on Monday, replying to a submission from P. Jayarajan of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

While making the submission, Mr. Jayarajan delved into the details of the allegation and this brought the Congress members to their feet. Deputy Leader of the Opposition G. Karthikeyan and K.C. Venugopal, also of the Congress, said that Mr. Jayarajan, with clear political motives, was trying to get all the unsubstantiated charges against Mr. Ramesh Chennithala into Assembly records.

They said that faced with the embarrassment of the recent bribery scandals involving the CPI(M) newspaper Deshabhimani, the Left Democratic Front Government was trying to cook up similar charges against Congress leaders. This would not work, they said. Deputy Speaker Jose Baby, who was in the chair at this moment, said he would examine the records and ensure the removal of unnecessary references, if present, in Mr. Jayarajan’s submission.

Mr. Jayarajan, on being asked to finish his submission, continued more or less in the same vein. This prompted the Congress members to crowd near the front row.

Mr. Balakrishnan said that an action council formed by certain people following the Kanichukulangara murders [a notorious case in which a truck was allegedly driven into a car purposefully to kill those in the car] had alleged earlier that the accused persons had given money to Mr. Chennithala to subvert the investigation process. [This was during the time of the United Democratic Front Government.]

He said this action council had recently repeated its allegation and had given a complaint to the Government. The council had said that it could furnish evidence of the bribery.

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