THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala has sought a judicial probe into the deep-sea fishing MoU hatched between US firm EMCC International India Pvt Ltd and the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation. Expressing dissatisfaction with the state government’s decision to entrust Additional Chief Secretary (Home) T K Jose with holding a probe, Chennithala demanded that the government should cancel the Rs 5,000 crore agreement to allot four acres at Pallippuram in Alappuzha before announcing a judicial probe. The UDF has also decided to rally behind the fisher folk’s protest on Saturday.
For the fifth consecutive day, Chennithala raised the controversy over the deep sea fishing agreement, terming Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as the protagonist and Industries Minister E P Jayarajan as his assistant. He maintained that whatever Pinarayi, Jayarajan and Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma have been claiming so far over the agreement have been false.
“The MoU signed at ASCEND, held in Kochi on February 28, 2020 is still in force. The state government cancelled only a part of the MoU on Monday,” Chennithala claimed.He reiterated that the fisheries minister had held talks with EMCC in New York during April 2018.
“It was as per the advice of the chief minister that the US firm submitted a detailed concept note which the company owner himself has confirmed. The LDF government had resorted to loot fishermen through deliberate steps and there is no action against the amendment of the fisheries policy,” said the Opposition leader.He also raised suspicion of the involvement of various online food distribution companies in the deep sea fishing agreement.