Opposition hurls more allegations at Achuthanandan’s son

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM - The Kerala opposition Wednesday accused Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan’s son of taking money from the sandalwood mafia, and continued to level corruption allegations against him in the assembly for the second day.

When the chief minister flatly refuted the allegations, the opposition staged a walkout in the assembly.

Congress legislator K. Babu sought leave of the house for moving an adjournment motion to discuss Achuthanandan’s son V. Arunkumar allegedly taking Rs.7 lakh from the sandalwood mafia in 2003.

“In the month of July 2003, you (Achuthanandan) raised a banner of revolt against the sandalwood mafia inside and outside the assembly, but when it came to the discussion in the assembly on the forest department, you did not utter a word against this mafia which you strongly opposed. This was because a group of sandalwood factory owners had met your son and paid the first instalment of Rs.7 lakh of the agreed Rs.10 lakh,” Babu claimed.

Babu’s speech was on a few occasions was interrupted by a section of the treasury benches owing allegiance to Achuthanandan.

“We have with us the speech you made July 7, 2003, when you kept totally mum (on sandalwood mafia). Were you not influenced and if not, then why in your speech you did not utter a word? This was because your son had collected the money,” hit out Babu.

Achuthanandan hit back at the opposition and said, “When this issue occurred, you were ruling here. Why then did you not order an inquiry?”

“People know that you were getting arrogant after tasting success in the last Lok Sabha and the local bodies poll. But suddenly old cases surfaced and today one of your leaders (Balakrishnan Pillai) is cooling his heels in jail.

“You wait and see, a few of you will be in jail before the elections here take place and to cover up the real issues, you are raising baseless allegations to divert attention,” said Achuthanandan.

Speaker K. Radhakrishnan refused leave for adjournment motion.

Opposition leader Oommen Chandy said the present government was raking up old cases and ordering reinvestigations.

“Today it is time for reinvestigation and hence why don’t you register a case against the person (Khadar Paloth, a sandalwood factory owner) who revealed that it was he who paid the money to your son, and begin investigations? Why are the rules different for some, while for some you have registered cases and begun re-investigation. So show to all that you are fair and order an investigation in this case,” said Chandy.

TV channels here have been airing interviews with Khadar Paloth and a few others who allegedly met Arunkumar at the official residence of Achuthanandan then here.

On Tuesday, the opposition alleged that it was his son who scuttled a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the lottery scam which Achuthanandan has been campaigning for.

Thursday is the last day of this assembly session.

Filed under: Politics

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