CMRL payoff row: Pinarayi rejects charges, calls it political witch-hunt

The chief minister also rejected the allegations that CMRL is a company that has links with the government.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (File photo | EPS)
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (File photo | EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  A month after fresh allegations surfaced against his daughter Veena and her firm Exalogic Solutions, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan finally broke his silence over the CMRL controversy. Responding to the corruption charges raised by the Congress in the House on Monday, Pinarayi rejected the allegations, calling it a political witch-hunt. Terming the CM’s response a mere eyewash, the Opposition UDF staged a walkout from the House.

In a detailed statement, in response to the charges raised by Congress legislator Mathew Kuzhalnadan, Pinarayi said Exalogic received money from CMRL for the professional services offered by the firm, based on a contract. Terming it a monthly quota reflects a certain ‘peculiar state of mind’, he alleged. Delving further into the observations made by the Income Tax Interim Settlement Board, Pinarayi said these are observations by a board of a quasi-judicial nature.

“The order was issued by three Union government officials. The vigilance court has rejected a petition seeking to register a case based on the observations by the IT Board,” he said. Pinarayi further pointed out that the ruling party at the Centre has been hunting leaders of Opposition parties, as part of political vengeance. At the national level, the BJP has been using probe agencies for vested interests. But here even the UDF seems to have joined hands with the BJP and Central agencies, he said.

Pinarayi said Exalogic, as part of its business, has done business with many companies, including CMRL. “If there’s a remark against an individual as part of an investigation, the authorities should have heard the version of that individual. That has not been done. Hence such observations cannot be “considered having any judicial value.”

The chief minister also rejected the allegations that CMRL is a company that has links with the government. He further pointed out that a statement, which was later withdrawn by those who made it, has been portrayed as the ultimate truth.  “Is there any rule that says that an entrepreneur, just because she is related to a political leader, should not run a business?” he asked. Pinarayi alleged that the name of an entrepreneur was needlessly dragged into controversy for sheer political motives.

CM failed to respond to allegations: Satheesan

Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan alleged that the CM failed to respond to the allegations. “The CM says his office didn’t get the IT Board’s report. If that’s true, look at the state of his office. The UDF will proceed with legal actions on the issue,” said Satheesan.  

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