KALPETTA: Allegations that members of the UDF-led governing council of Sultan Bathery Cooperative Urban Bank took over Rs 2 crore in bribes for the appointments made recently in six posts has rocked the Wayanad District Congress Committee (DCC). Congress has appointed a three-member inquiry commission to investigate the charges. The bank had recently recruited three persons as peons and another three as watchmen. It is alleged that up to Rs 45 lakh was taken from each of them.
The bribery came to light after a letter sent in the name of Wayanad DCC general secretary R P Sivadasan Pambanal to Congress state leaders was circulated among party workers. The letter had also mentioned irregularities in the financial dealings at other Congress-led banks such as Poothadi and Padichira. Interestingly, a woman lodged a rape complaint with the Sultan Bathery police against Sivadasan after the bribery allegations sufaced.
“We have registered a case against Sivadasan under Section 354 of IPC based on the complaint received on Saturday. As per the petitioner, the crime happened in 2019. We are collecting more details,” said Sultan Bathery Inspector of Police Benny K P.
The DCC appointed the inquiry commission after a meeting chaired by committee president and MLA I C Balakrishnan to probe the allegations. K E Vinayan (chairman), D P Rajasekharan (general convener) and Binu Thomas (member) have been asked to submit the report on the issue to DCC.
However, the incident has given the opposition members of the bank a stick to beat the Congress with especially when the CPM is grappling with the Rs 300-crore loan fraud allegations against its members at the party-ruled Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank in Irinjalakuda, Thrissur.
Wayanad DYFI district secretary K Rafeeq demanded that a police case be registered against the Congress leaders led by Balakrishnan for allegedly pocketing crores of rupees in the name of appointments at Sultan Bathery Cooperative Urban Bank. He also demanded Balakrishnan’s resignation as MLA.
Meanwhile, AIYF Sultan Bathery constituency committee also demanded a vigilance investigation. The board of directors of the bank should be dissolved. Otherwise, the party wid of directors of the bank should be dissolved. Otherwise, the party will start an agitation in the coming days, said committee president Kalesh Vakeri. The CPM has decided to take out a march to the MLA’s office on Monday morning demanding Balakrishnan’s resignation from the assembly and to face investigation.