Uproar in Kerala Assembly over housing scam probe


The Opposition members raised a ruckus over the ‘Life Mission’ case in the Kerala Assembly on Tuesday. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been probing alleged violations of Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act (FCRA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) the flagship scheme of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in the state. Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, VD Satheesan, said the ruling party was being “intolerant” (in the wake of revelations in the ongoing ED probe in ‘Life Mission’ case), as he also lashed out at the LDF over ‘evidence’ connecting the Chief Minister’s Office to the case.
Later, addressing media persons on Tuesday, Satheesan invoked a speech by the Congress leader and MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan saying that the government was trying deflects the charges and concerns that he raised in the “Life Mission scam case”.
The Congress leader also underlined the arrest of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s former principal secretary, M Sivasankaran, and the summoning of another additional secretary by the ED in the alleged housing scam case.
Terming the state Vigilance department as not being competent enough to investigate the matter, he said, “Three years ago, the Vigilance registered a case. We demanded that the case be investigated by the CBI as there are interstate and intrastate ramifications of the matter and it also involves the UAE consulate. The Vigilance department is not the competent authority to investigate this matter.”
He noted that the ED’s investigation was limited only to the alleged PMLA violations in the case, as he demanded that the CBI should also be brought in to investigate the wider ramifications of the alleged housing scam.
Stepping up his attack on the ruling LDF, Satheesan said, “How could the UAE consulate enter into an agreement to draw up a contract form? How could the consulate make a quotation to construct houses on land belonging to the Kerala government? There are a lot of aspects to this case that needs to be investigated. Both the right (BJP) and left (LDF) hands are involved in this.”
He added, “Mr. Sivasankaran, former principal secretary to the CM, arranged a job for Swapna Suresh, a middlewoman in the case, and held a meeting at his official residence. He can take the available legal recourse if he thinks the allegations are baseless. But he hasn’t. Why?”