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Opposition spews fire, but Pinarayi Vijayan backs Thomas Chandy, Anwar over allegations

Chief Minister says there is nothing illegal or any official misuse of power in the business initiatives of the duo.

Published: 18th August 2017 01:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2017 09:39 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan threw his weight behind Transport Minister Thomas Chandy and CPM-backed Independent MLA P V Anwar, saying there is nothing illegal or any official misuse of power as alleged with regard to their business initiatives, leaving Opposition UDF MLAs to stage a walkout from the Assembly on Thursday.Uproarious scenes prevailed in the Assembly over allegations of land grabbing and illegal paddy land filling under the cover of tourism ventures in Kuttanad by the minister and violations galore in the water theme park run by the MLA in the ecologically fragile Kakkadampoyil mountain ranges of Kozhikode district. 

On a notice given by V T Balram (Cong) for an adjournment motion, the Chief Minister said the allegations are politically motivated. Pinarayi Vijayan didn’t care to even respond to the Opposition demand for a probe by a government agency or an Assembly panel. Balram spitted fire at the stand of the Chief Minister and asked to let people know with whom the government stood, and listed out illegal actions and media reports with regard to the ventures of both Chandy and Anwar. Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan struck at Balram not to raise topics other than those mentioned in his notice, as it was related to Thomas Chandy’s backwater resort alone. The Congress MLA didn’t yield and let loose a barrage of allegations based on media reports.

The Speaker allowed the minister and MLA to make a personal explanation and both stated no illegalities are there in their businesses. The Chief Minister reposed all faith in the personal explanation given by the minister and the MLA.Thomas Chandy asked Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala to lead a team of UDF MLAs for an investigation into the allegations of backwaters encroachment and paddy wetland filling and challenged that even if one cent of land could be traced out as proof, he shall quit not only the ministership but legislatorship too. He said the lake resort owned by him at Punnamada backwaters has an investment of Rs 150 crore but never posted profits as there is an average Rs 50 lakh annual loss in its 13 years of  existence. 

P V Anwar blamed all the accusations against him, as masterminded by the Aryadans of Nilambur, through a complaint lodged by one o  their benamis, springing UDF MLAs to retort and rush to the Speaker’s podium. Ramesh Chennithala asked the Speaker to expunge the remarks from Assembly records. The MLA reiterated  ever since he had won as a CPM Independent from the Nilambur Assembly segment,the trounced immediate candidate Aryadan Shoukath was at consistent moves to malign him. He said the Koodaranji grama panchayat in Kozhikode district, where the water theme park is situated, was under UDF control when the application for the project was submitted three years ago and now also, at the time of according sanction. He asked the Opposition leader and team to visit the park. He offered to close down the venture if any illegality is detected.Leading the walkout, Ramesh Chennithala said the allegations against the minister and the MLA may be right or wrong, but the Chief  Minister should have opted for a probe into it by a competent agency or an Assembly panel. 

“How can a Chief Minister assert all is well by simply believing the words of the Minister and the MLA, when there are official reports itself to prove to the contrary?” he asked. “We’re not against Chandy or Anwar promoting tourism or water theme park projects. But everything should conform to existing laws. It has to be proved and convincing to the people also,” he said.Anoop Jacob asked what forbids the government from ordering a probe if everything is right,as claimed by the Minister and MLA.



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