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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 01 August 2021 10.21 AM IST

Tom Jose is silent, whom to be believed? Jackson Pollayil who gave crucial info to Chennithala on deep-sea fishing talks….

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ALAPPUZHA: The opposition leader unleashed the deep sea fishing controversy at a time when the assembly polls are on the doorsteps of Kerala. When the allegations raised by him took the form of controversy, the government enquired who have leaked the sensitive information to the opposition leader. Other information like N Prasanth IAS who served as home secretary during the tenure of Chennithala as home minister, also turned the controversy against the opposition also. When the counter-allegations raised by the government against the opposition leader further gained strength, Chennithala was forced to reveal the informant. Chennithala said that Jackson Pollayil, the chief of the Independent Fishermen Union gave him the details of the alleged deal during the Aishwarya Kerala Yatra. Jackson Polayil whose crucial revelations on deep-sea fishing issue, enabled the opposition leader to sit up a pandemonium in the state, speaks to Keralakaumudi Online.

When did you receive the crucial details on the deep-sea fishing controversy?

The MoU with EMCC was signed by the state government on February 2nd and the firm has also issued a press release in this regard. The federation’s former secretary A J Vijayan has written a note on Facebook about the MoU between the American firm and the government. N Prasanth has put a comment below his Facebook post. He said that the project will produce thousands of job opportunities in the coastal region and the fishermen community will be its greatest benefactor. That comment whihc justified the MoU led to further discussions, most of the contentions put forward by Prasanth were unacceptable. The state committee of the federation discussed the issue and we also planned many protests, including burning the ship’s effigy in front of the secretariat. We even conducted a people’s convention in Ernakulam, but the government has not made any response on this issue yet.

When did you realise the ‘danger’ in the MoU?

The fisheries department takes important decisions on various issues concerning us only after thorough discussions with organisations like us. But after surfacing such a controversial MoU, the government says that it had no information about it, which is totally an unreliable claim.

How was the government’s response in the first phase?

There was no response. We understood the stand of N Prasanth in his initial comments itself. Later we didn’t continue any conversation with him.

Do you think the MoU, was a lapse that occurred from the officials’ side?

It is not possible. The land acquisition at Pallipuram has occurred with the consent and concurrence of higher government authorities. The MoU says 400 shipping vessels will be given to fishermen in the state within 25 years. But in reality, a fisherman can only use a vessel for just 15 years.

Do you suspect the involvement of Tom Jose?

He is not in the picture now. Though it is sceptical on appointing him to a comparatively less important organisation post-retirement. Tom Jose is silent.

Was it you who gave Chennithala the photos and details of the minister’s meeting in the US?

The photos were given by me. That was the press release of EMCC. Whereas the details of the minister’s meeting were not given by me.

Do you think that Prasanth has given additional details on the deal to the opposition leader?

The opposition leader like the ministers also said that he knew nothing. He should have enquired about this. I don’t believe in the allegations on N Prasanth.

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TAGS: POLITICS, DEEP SA FISHING CONTROVERSY, KERALA, INDIA, ASSEMBLY POLLS, DOORSTEPS, N PRASANTH IAS, FISHERIES SECTOR, COUNTER ALLEGATIONS, RAMESH CHENNITHALA, JACKSON POLLAYIL, AISHWARYA KERALA YATRA, SENSITIVE INFORMATION
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