Achuthanandan defends son, asks for CBI probe

Saturday, February 26, 2011

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM - Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Saturday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the opposition’s allegations that his son scuttled an enquiry into the lottery mafia in the state.

“I have written to the prime minister to go ahead with a probe into the lottery mafia the state and also to see if my son Arun Kumar had any role in scuttling the probe as claimed by the Congress. But the prime minister is silent as he knows if the probe takes place then like (former telecom minister A.) Raja, (Home Minister P.) Chidambaram also would have to go to jail,” said Achuthanandan.

Achuthanandan wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Jan 3 seeking the probe.

Achuthanandan had sought a central probe into the lottery scam, in which agents of the Bhutan and Sikkim lotteries allegedly siphoned off Rs.80,000 crore in the last four years by violating tax laws and diverting unclaimed prize money.

Congress leaders have alleged many wrongdoings of Arun Kumar and a book written by late technocrat K.P.P. Nambiar says chief minister’s son had asked him for a bribe to implement a power project.

“This is an issue which Nambiar himself had withdrawn the allegation. This happened years back. Where was the opposition till now?” asked Achuthanandan.

But Achuthanandan evaded answers to allegations like his sons frequent foreign trips and his visit to Macau in China.

This is a baseless allegation which has no merit in it, he said.

When asked how his son, a government employee, got membership in the prestigious Golf Club at a time when his government was involved in a legal battle with the club, Achuthanandan said: He took membership by paying a hefty fee.

On the opposition’s allegation that his son collected Rs.7 lakh from the owners of sandalwood factories when Achuthanandan was leader of opposition in 2004, the chief minister retorted: I am prepared to order an inquiry as asked by (Leader of Opposition Oommen) Chandy, provided he gives it to me in writing. said

He also denied reports that at his time of crisis, his party, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, has not properly defended him.

You might not have seen it, but I read in newspapers what the party is doing on this, shot back Achuthanandan.

After the hour-long press conference, Achuthanandan distributed copies of articles that he wrote against the sandalwood mafia.

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