THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:The Assembly which has been disrupted for four consecutive days over the Sabarimala row witnessed stormy proceedings on Tuesday, this time over nepotism charges against minister K T Jaleel. Amidst confusion over staging walkout from the House, the opposition UDF boycotted the day’s sitting.
The Opposition came down heavily on the government demanding the minister’s resignation. In his first public response on the issue, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan gave a clean chit to Jaleel. Justifying the appointment of Jaleel’s kin K T Adeeb to State Minority Development Finance Corporation, Pinarayi ruled out irregularities or norm violations. There was no violation of norms or breach of the oath, he said, stressing that the appointment was made through deputation.
Taking on the Opposition, Pinarayi said similar appointments have been made during the UDF regime also. He also referred to a previous appointment - of Haneefa Perinchery - made on deputation to the corporation. Pinarayi also referred to some other appointments - of P C James to K M Mani’s personal staff.
An emotional Jaleel tried to defend himself saying he hasn’t indulged in any irregularity. “If any allegations against me are proven true, I am ready to end my public life,” Jaleel told the House.
Slamming the chief minister, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala accused Pinarayi Vijayan of taking a contract to protect the corrupt, adding that the chief minister had no clear response to the charges raised by the Opposition. “The offence committed by Jaleel is more grave in nature than that of E P Jayarajan, who had to step down. Why then is the chief minister justifying Jaleel when he did not accord the same to Jayarajan,” asked Chennithala.
‘2L hectares destroyed in flood’
T’Puram: Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar told the Assembly that about 2,36,649.5 hectares of land was destroyed in the state during floods. The total loss in agriculture is estimated to be H19,001.84 crore. So far, 3,05,964 farmers have requested for compensation. Annual project of ‘Punarjani’ package to revive the agricultural sector has been submitted to the State Planning Board for 2019-20. An amount of H66.747 crore has been distributed from the State Disaster Response Fund to 2,32,966 farmers. Besides, about H110.27 crore has been disbursed to 2,18,198 farmers from state’s share, he said. In the discussion held with the State Level Bankers Committee representatives, the decision was taken to restore farm loans of the farmers in the flood-affected districts and to repay the interest repayment in five years.
Cooperative societies amendment Bill referred to subject committee
T’Puram:The Kerala State Co-operative Societies (Second Amendment) Bill was presented by Minister for Co-operatives Kadakampally Surendran. He said tourism is one of the major revenue earning sectors in the state with 10 per cent of state GDP from this area. He said the jurisdiction of the working area of tourism cooperative societies will be clearly demarcated. In the case of the dairy sector, the minister said Milma, which is the only major dairy cooperative in the state, will be developed into a world-class entity on the lines of Anand and for that there needs to be some streamlining.The Minister also said there is a quantum leap in the production of milk from 63 per cent during the previous government’s term to 80 per cent in the present dispensation.