Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar was on the verge of breaking down in the Assembly on Monday in the course of discussions over the Solar scam, while aspersions were cast by Opposition deputy leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan against him indirectly.
While targetting Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash, raising the charge of liaison with Con woman Saritha S Nair, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan commented that he had not mentioned that the Revenue Minister was not one among the two ministers who had gone to Thekkady with the woman. At that time, Anil Kumar raised his hands seeking permission from Speaker G Karthikeyan to make an explanation.
After some time, he granted leave for the Minister to make his point. The Tourism Minister said that he had gone on a boat of the Tourism Department to the Lake Palace in the Thekkady lake late in the evening.
“What Kodiyeri hinted was about myself. I was not aware that the boat ride was not allowed after 5 pm. The boat developed technical snags and I returned. But Forest Department officials offered me another boat,’’ he said.
There was a mistake on my part by taking the trip late in the night. But there was no woman with me in the trip. The one who was with me was my driver, who happens to be my cousin brother. Will anyone go for illicit sexual activities with woman in the company of one’s brother,’’ he asked in a choking voice. “I was suffering over the issue for the past 6-7 months. I was maintaining silence all along. I cannot withstand anymore. If anyone proves that a woman was with me while I made the trip I will quit as minister, MLA and even end my public life,’’ he declared.
He also said that he could have banked on records which stated that ministers in the former LDF Government and ruling party MLAs had made such night trips in the Thekkady lake. “But I didn’t do it because it will turn into an exercise to cover up the wrong committed by me by way of the late night boat trip,’’ Anil Kumar said.