CPI(M)-Cong wrangle over Singhvi on lottery case continues
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Last Updated: Saturday, October 02, 2010, 18:53
Thiruvananthapuram: The statement war between the ruling CPI-M and opposition Congress in Kerala over the appearance of AICC spokesperson Manu Abishek Singhvi as counsel in the lottery case gained a shrill pitch on Saturday with KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala saying that Singhvi was chosen to argue the case as a result of a 'conspiracy involving Kerala Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac and the lottery agents."

Isaac hit back at Chennithala asking whether he meant that the AICC spokesman was a person who could be hired by anybody to argue any case and dared the Congress leader if he would press for Singhvi's expulsion from the party for arguing the case against the interests of the Congress in Kerala.

Stung by Isaac yesterday's charge that Chennithala knew that Singhvi was coming to argue the lotter case since they come from Delhi by the same flight last week, the KPCC chief told reporters here that Isaac was trying to save his face after he bit the dust in an open debate with the Congress MLA V D Satheesan over the lottery issue recently.

"Singvi was specially chosen to argue the case as a result of the conspiracy involving Isaac and the lottery agents. Though we had travelled by the same flight I was not aware Singvi was coming to argue the lottery case (in the Kerala High Court). As soon as I knew it I had informed the central leadership abou our concerns", Chennithala said.

Countering the argument, Isaac, a CPI-M Central Committee member, said in Alappuzha that " it is for Singhvi to clarify if I (Isaac) had any part in the conspiracy."

He sought to know if the KPCC president was willing to press for expulsion of Singhvi from the party as his taking up the brief of lottery agents ran contrary to the stand of the party in the state.

The rival fronts have been engaged in a bitter wordy duel over the appearance of Singhvi in the case last week, which severely embarrassed the Congress as the party and its feeder outfits alleged that lottery tycoons had been flourishing with the patronage of the LDF Government.

Under pressure,the LDF government stopped accepting tax advance from promoters of Bhutan and Sikkim lotteries, citing violation of rules, resulting in virtual stoppage of sale of other state lottery.


First Published: Saturday, October 02, 2010, 18:53

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