Deep-sea fishing row gets murkier as Kerala Opposition leader Chennithala releases more documents
Chennithala released the letter written by principal secretary K R Jyothilal to the central external affairs joint secretary seeking credentials of the US firm, 3 months before ASCEND 2020 was held.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after the state Chief Minister ordered a review of the MoU signed between Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation and US firm EMCC International India Pvt. Ltd. on deep-sea fishing, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala released more documents putting the LDF Government in a fix.
Chennithala released the letter written by principal secretary K R Jyothilal to the central external affairs joint secretary seeking credentials of the US firm, three months before the ASCEND 2020 was held. He also sought a reply from industries minister E P Jayarajan on why he hid the details of the project from the Legislative Assembly.
For the fourth consecutive day, Chennithala, who came out with incriminating evidence against the LDF Government on the deep-sea fishing MoU, maintained that from day one they were keen to hush up the deal. He opined that efforts are on to ensure that the LDF Government is keen on saving the US monopolist firm. Chennithala reiterated that the agreement was the State Government's ploy to shift all the blame to the officials as they alone cannot finalize the agreement.
ASCEND 2020 was held during January 9-10 at Kochi. But the MoU was signed 48 days later on 28 February.
"If the UDF had not highlighted this issue, the cabinet would have come out with the order. It was after the Government level talks, fisheries (former) principal secretary Jyothilal had shot off a letter to the external affairs ministry seeking the credentials of the US firm. Twice, Jayarajan had misled the Legislative Assembly when Kerala Congress (Mani) Joseph faction MLA’s and Muslim League MLA P K Basheer had sought questions on the agreements taken at ASCEND 2020”, said Chennithala.
The Opposition Leader also alleged that the LDF Government is keen to see that the State's coastline is also sold putting the fisher folk’s livelihood at risk. He alleged that a huge conspiracy was hatched by the LDF Government to loot the fish wealth in the coastline. Chennithala also blamed the media for highlighting the strides made by the LDF Government where he termed it as an “advertisement scam”.
“The media is happy since they are getting advertisement revenue. But the media should also show its morality in highlighting the State Government’s policies,” added Chennithala.