Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 12 April 2024 4.49 PM IST

'Chief Minister is real culprit in monthly quota issue'; Veena has been receiving money from CMRL since 2016, says Mathew Kuzhalnadan


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan on Tuesday lashed out at Kerala Assembly Speaker AN Shamseer for denying him permission to raise corruption allegations during the general discussion of the budget. Speaking at a press conference, Mathew Kuzhalnadan accused the Speaker of denying the right of a member in the House. Mathew Kuzhalnadan said that the Speaker butchered democracy and went out of his way to shield the Chief Minister.

"The Interim Settlement Board, Registrar of Companies and now the SFIO have found in their investigation that Veena Vijayan and the Exalogic company received the money without rendering any services. No one is denying this. CPM also does not deny this. Corruption is the biggest problem," Mathew Kuzhalnadan said.

Lashing out at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Mathew Kuzhalnadan said that the Chief Minister was the real culprit in the monthly quota issue.

"It is true that Veena Vijayan had received money. However, the fact is that Veena received the money for the services rendered by the Chief Minister to CMRL. Since Pinarayi Vijayan came to power, CMRL has been giving Veena up to Rs 5 lakh every month. Apart from this, it is also giving Rs 3 lakh per month to Exalogic company. Pinarayi Vijayan intervened to secure black sand mining permission for CMRL. For that, he changed the industrial policy. The Chief Minister asked to re-examine the file where the previous agreement was cancelled," Kuzhalnadan said.

"CMRL's biggest revenue and interest is black sand. CMRL was awarded the lease for black sand for the first time in 2003–2004. Four leases were granted. However, all the remaining proceedings of this lease were stayed within 10 days as it was against government policies and public interest. CMRL has always tried to reclaim this lease. However, as part of protecting the interest of the coastal region of Kerala, the governments have taken the decision not to allow private persons to lease black sand. That was the position of the AK Antony government and the Achuthanandan government. The Achuthanandan government also decided on a policy that private individuals would not be allowed to mine black sand," Kuzhalnadan said.

"Meanwhile, CMRL approached the National Mines Tribunal against the cancellation of the lease. The Tribunal directed to reconsider CMRL's demand. Even after inspection, no favourable decision was taken. CMRL then approached the High Court and got an order in their favour. Even then, the government was not ready to grant the lease. Later, it filed an appeal to the Division Bench, but the action was in favour of CMRL. The state then filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. This was during the term of the Oommen Chandy government. The then government fought in the Supreme Court to deny the lease to CMRL," he said.

"Pinarayi Vijayan government came to power in 2016. After this, from 20- 12- 2016, CMRL has been paying Rs.5 lakh to Veena every month with an aim to recover the lease. CMRL had applied for the lease before the first Pinarayi Vijayan government. From 02-03-2017, CMRL started paying an additional Rs 3 lakhs apart from the Rs 5 lakhs monthly quota to Veena Vijayan. The government later gave permission to CMRL to lease black sand for a huge amount. Pinarayi government changed industrial policy to grant mining license to CMRL. Yesterday, I made an attempt to raise the matter in the House for the Chief Minister's reply. CMRL had submitted a direct petition to the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister directly intervened in the matter. Normally, if the Chief Minister wants to call and inspect a file that is not under his department, there must be a clear reason for doing so. The Chief Minister made efforts to ensure that CMRL do not lose the lease," he added.

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