THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The deal to buy 3,000 electric buses, which hit the headlines after Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged huge corruption, returned to the limelight after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan chose his daily Covid briefing to reply to charges. Pinarayi said the Rs 4,500-crore project will not be abandoned just because the Opposition is raking up controversies.
The Congress leader, who tactfully meets the media hours before Pinarayi’s daily briefing, raised the charges again on Wednesday afternoon when he produced documents to show that the finance department had in fact questioned the viability of the project.Chennithala said that the additional chief secretary (finance) had noted on the file that the department could not recommend going ahead with a MoU unless there is clarity on the commitment of the state PSU. Hitting Chennithala hard, Chief Minister said the Opposition leader had only seen a section of the file and that he was distorting facts. “Chennithala should realise that he is holding a responsible position and he must ensure that his allegations against the government are true.”
“Chennithala should not act as the king pin in efforts to take the e-mobility project away from Kerala to other states,” Pinarayi said. “The Chief Secretary had examined the file after the Chief Minister asked him to. The Central government had given its permission for the e-mobility project on July 22, 2019. We are yet to sign the memorandum of understanding (MoU) and it will be done only after all the formalities are completed.”