CPI leader compares Pinarayi Vijayan to Modi, Trump

CPI leader compares Pinarayi Vijayan to Modi, Trump

CPI leader compares Pinarayi Vijayan to Modi, Trump

"But in this case, as a minister of the department, I have asked what were the circumstances under which decision to release funds from the disaster management fund was taken", Chandrasekharan said.

In the run up to the May 2016 Kerala Assembly polls, the then incumbent Congress-led coalition government under Oomen Chandy, which was also facing charges of corruption, had sought to rake up Vijayan's alleged involvement in the Lavalin scam hoping to dent the Left Front's imminent romp to power in the state.

However, he did not name anyone.

The CBI, in its appeal, said there was "ample material to show the involvement" of Mr. Vijayan in the Lavalin deal. These things happen normally.

After protests, the government was forced to cancel the order for payment of Vijayan's helicopter journey from the State Disaster Relief Fund.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala hit out at the government and said it was very unfortunate that the chief minister used the fund meant for cyclone victims for travelling from a party conference venue. The BJP President Kummanam Rajasekharan said diverting SDRF fund was a "heartless" action and a criminal offence. "The CM is trying to mislead people", he said.

Meanwhile, Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan has asked for an explanation from additional chief secretary PH Kurien over the issue. He also said neither he nor his office was aware of the controversial order. "The secretary explained that there were certain provisions for issuing such orders", the minister said. A statement issued by CMO's office had clarified that the helicopter was hired for Vijayan and other ministers' journey on 26 December for a meeting with the central team. Pinarayi said when he came to know that the payment for his trip was paid from the disaster relief fund, he rang up the officer concerned and directed him to change it to public fund.

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