UDF double downs on attack against CM, CPM in PSC bribe allegation; Pinarayi brushes aside charges

Opposition Leader Satheesan asked why the police did not register a case as the ones involved in the fraud had committed a criminal offence.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.(Photo | E Gokul, EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The UDF members resorted to the rare move of holding a walkout during the submission alleging that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was trying to protect the partymen, who took bribes in connection with the appointment of the PSC members.

Opposition Leader V D Satheesan in his walkout speech directly pointed
fingers at Pinarayi and said the latter was trying to settle the matter by paying back the cash that was received from a female doctor in Kozhikode.

The CM in his strong-worded reply said the LDF governments never raised the number of posts of PSC members and the Opposition Leader was raising the allegations on the basis of his experience with the Congress's style of functioning.

Satheesan moved the submission close on the heels of allegations that
a CPM area committee member from Kozhikode took Rs 22 lakh from a
female doctor offering her a PSC member's post. Satheesan said those who reportedly committed the fraud took the names of CPM leaders,
including PWD Minister P A Mohammed Riyas and COM District Secretary P
Mohanan. Though anybody can take names of the leaders to commit fraud, in this case, those who committed the fraud were close to the leaders.

Satheesan asked why the police did not register a case as the ones involved in the fraud had committed a criminal offence. " Such a big
allegation came up, but why is it not being referred to the police? Taking money in the name of leaders is a criminal offence. Why did the police not register a case? An urgent probe is required on the matter," he said.

Satheesan also reminded the house that similar allegations had come up
against the LDF coalition partners NCP, JDS and the INL. "If the CPM had kept the PSC member post for auction, then the coalition partners will do the same. If people who pay huge amounts as bribes become PSC members, what credibility is there for the interviews they hold," he
asked.

The CM in his reply vouched for the transparency in the selection procedure of PSC members and said the allegations against the
constitutional body was unfortunate.

He tried to turn the tables on the UDF, accusing them of increasing the number of PSC member posts whenever they were in power. He said in
1982, there were nine PSC members, which were increased to 13 and then
15 in the successive years. In 2005, the number was increased to 18 and in 2013, it was further raised to 21. "All these years the UDF was in power. The LDF governments never increased the number of posts."

He said the appointment of PSC members was largely done without complaints and an exception was in 2004, where there was a big
controversy over the matter. That controversy involved K Karunakaran,
Oommen Chandy, Aryadan Mohammed and Vakkom Purushothaman.

The CM said apart from media reports, no other facts corroborating the
allegation has come to the fore. On Tuesday morning, a Youth Congress
state general secretary e-mailed a complaint on the matter to the
Kozhikode City Police Commissioner and this was done deliberately as
the Opposition Leader was moving a submission on the incident.

Satheesan retorted that if the allegation was not there in the first
place, then why did the police record the statements of the doctor and
her spouse and CPM state secretary said the allegation will be
examined by the party and the government.

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