KANNUR: Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said on Friday that he was not involved in any of the Cabinet decisions before he took charge of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee and said that there was no question of him resigning in the wake of the Vigilance inquiry into the Titanium graft case.
He said that he was ready to face any probe in the case and also dismissed demands for relinquishing the Vigilance portfolio in the wake of the Vigilance Court observations in the case.
“How can I be involved in a decision taken by the Cabinet before I took charge as the KPCC president,” Chennithala said while addressing the media.
He said he was not holding any parliamentary position when the Cabinet took the decision on the waste treatment plant in the Travancore Titanium factory. When asked whether he would resign as the home minister or relinquish the Vigilance portfolio in the wake of the Vigilance case, Chennithala said the demands for his resignation were uncalled for. If there were any discrepancies in the deal, the LDF government could have started the probe.
The Vigilance investigation in the case actually began eight months ago and there was no question of quitting at present, he said, adding that the Opposition was trying to score political mileage out of the issue.
The minister clarified that the Cabinet decision on the Titanium factory was taken on June 18, 2005, whereas he took charge as the KPCC president on June 30.
Even in his capacity as the KPCC president, he had not involved in any government affairs, Chennithala said, referring to the charges of former Congress minister K K Ramachandran Master in 2011, who alleged that he was removed from the ministry in 2005 when he objected to the corrupt deal.
Ramachandran Master had also alleged that Chennithala had threatened him and asked him to give the Pollution Control Board clearance for the project. The home minister, however, denied all these allegations.
Though Chennithala clarified his position and resolutely denied charges against him in the Titanium graft case, he did not try to justify the chief minister or the other ministers in connection with it in the wake of the Vigilance case that kept the chief minister also under the shade.