Kerala opposition to approach President Kovind against state government's tirade on CAG
Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala on Sunday accused the government of attempts to create a 'smoke screen' to conceal the real issues involving corruption which the government is grappling with.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the chief Opposition UDF disclosing its intention to approach the President of India against the disclosure of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) draft report on the borrowings by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) before tabling it in the Assembly, the move by Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac has indeed backfired.
The Opposition is already in talks with legal experts on the issue since they believe Isaac has gone against constitutional norms. According to the UDF, the issue here is not so much a case of whether it is a draft or final report of the CAG as the constitutional obligation to fulfil certain requirements before disclosing the watchdog body's findings before the media.
Isaac chose to bypass the existing norms in the case of CAG report - first up the report pertaining to each department is dispatched to the department concerned; the departments will then report back to the government; and then it will be sent to the Governor before being tabled in the House, the Opposition claims.
Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala on Sunday accused the government of attempts to create a 'smoke screen' to conceal the real issues involving corruption which the government is grappling with. He had alleged that Isaac has taken anticipatory bail before the corruption in KIIFB came out into the open.
"Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s decision to step down as CPM state secretary alone will not suffice. We want nothing short of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's resignation as he is the one who is embroiled in all the controversies. Isaac convened the presser to divert attention from the real issues. But we have already decided to challenge the government for training guns on the CAG," Chennithala added.
Later at a joint presser with UDF convener MM Hassan, Chennithala warned that he has more incriminating evidence against the government.
He listed out the case of Transgrid and Cochin Cancer Centre, both KIIFB-funded projects. While a huge cost escalation — from Rs 2,500 crore to Rs 4,500 crore was alleged in Transgrid, it was pointed out that the cancer centre building constructed at a cost of Rs 850 crore had collapsed at the half way stage.
What has riled the Opposition is that Isaac, who had also held the post of the chairman of Public Accounts Committee during the previous UDF government’s tenure, is resorting to attempts to create a ‘smoke screen’.