Congress to seek CBI probe in Kerala lottery scam

Monday, December 6, 2010

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM - The Congress’ Kerala unit Monday decided to demand that the central government initiate a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the lottery scandal as the issue involves other states as well as the neighbouring country of Bhutan.

Addressing reporters here after an executive meeting of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala said that only a thorough CBI probe will reveal everything.

“We will now approach the centre to see that they give the nod for a CBI probe,” he said.

The Congress’ move comes amid a major difference of opinion within the ruling Left Front’s leading partner Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI M).

Chief Minister V.S.Achuthanandan has already told the central government that a CBI probe has to take place, while state Finance Minister Thomas Isaac and a majority faction in the CPI-M led by state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan are totally opposed to such a probe.

For the past few months, Isaac has been blaming the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for the free run of other state lotteries, and alleging that the Congress was reluctant to transfer powers to states to ban lotteries.

The state Congress has, meanwhile, alleging the CPI-M was playing a double game by giving all help to the lottery mafia and turning down the Congress’ demand for a judicial probe into the “underhand dealings” of the lottery mafia operating in the state.

The Congress’ demand comes soon after a Thiruvananthapuram court asked police to register a case against lottery king Santiago Martin and his associate John Kennedy for selling lottery tickets that do not have the secret code and the seal.

Filed under: Politics

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