CM plays down HC queries on Sprinklr deal

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday downplayed the questions posed by the High Court to the state government in connection with the Sprinklr deal.

Published: 23rd April 2020 06:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2020 06:42 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan (Photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday downplayed the questions posed by the High Court to the state government in connection with the Sprinklr deal. Pinarayi told reporters that the court’s queries were part of the usual legal process of collecting information. “When a case comes up before the HC, it will naturally go into details. The court is only trying to find out the facts,” said Pinarayi.

On allegations linking his daughter to the Sprinklr issue, Pinarayi reiterated that he does not have the time to reply to such loose charges. “I have no anxiety  in this case. Let the person who raised the allegation bring the evidence,” he said. Pinarayi also rubbished reports that alleged his daughter registered her IT firm using the address of the CPM state headquarters (AKG Centre). On whether he had entered into any discussion with Sprinklr during his visit to the US, Pinarayi retorted, “They (Opposition) should not judge people on their habits. Let them produce the evidence.” 

On LDF constituent CPI’s displeasure over the Sprinklr deal, Pinarayi said some sections were keen only on creating controversies and were not interested in any explanation the government has given on the matter. On the criteria under which two retired IAS officers were appointed to probe the Sprinklr deal, Pinarayi said both were chosen for their expertise in IT and health. “The officials are noted personalities accepted by all sections. Why are attempts being made to tarnish their image?,” Pinarayi said. 

28 fast track courts
Pinarayi said the cabinet has decided to set up 28 fast track special courts in 14 districts to ensure speedy delivery of justice in rape and child sexual abuse related cases. The fast track courts will be functional for two years, he said.

No tie-up with Sprinklr: Pfizer
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Wednesday denied that it has partnered with Sprinklr to support the provision of any Covid-19 patient information from India. The clarification was issued after Pfizer was dragged into the row surrounding the state government’s deal with the firm to handle data transactions of people affected with Covid- 19 and those who have been quarantined. The three-liner by Pfizer states they have reviewed news reports on access to Covid -19 patient data appearing in certain sections of the media, which they have found to be baseless. “Pfizer has been using Sprinklr’s platform to manage content on their social media channels,” it said in a statement.

Yechury terms Sprinklr row sub judice
The CPM central leadership, though unhappy over the Sprinklr deal, does not want to court any controversy for fear of impeding the LDF government’s fight against Covid-19. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury refused to comment on the controversy, terming it ‘sub judice.’ “The matter has now gone to the court. The Kerala government has rendered an explanation. The matter rests there. Now it’s for the court to decide,” Yechury said. The CPM secretary opined that the sole focus should now be on fighting the pandemic. “Right now, let’s not get distracted from what should be our main focus, which is for the whole of India to successfully combat the raging pandemic,” he remarked. The party central leadership had earlier asked the Kerala CPM to explain its stance on the issue.

MP seeks Governor’s intervention
N K Premachandran, MP, requested the intervention of Governor Arif Mohammad Khan in the Sprinklr row. He wrote to the Governor requesting scrutiny of official records of the ‘controversial’ deal between the state government and Sprinklr.  “It is serious if the government is not ready to disclose the details of the deal. By handing over sensitive data of people, the government has breached their fundamental rights and privacy,” said Premachandran. 

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