LDF, UDF hurl charges at each other as polls draw close

With just one day left for the present Kerala Assembly`s final session to conclude, the ruling LDF and UDF members hurled corruption charges at each other and the latter staged walk out twice during the day.

Last Updated: Feb 23, 2011, 20:32 PM IST

Thiruvananathapuram: With just one day left
for the present Kerala Assembly`s final session to
conclude, the ruling LDF and the Congress-led UDF opposition
members on Wednesday hurled corruption charges at each other and the
latter staged walk out twice during the day.

In a change of strategy when the assembly polls round the
corner, the UDF targetted Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan
levelling allegations of corruption againt his son
V A Arunkumar,a director of state-run Institute of Human
Resources Development.

During the zero hour,the UDF sought an inquiry based on a
report aired by a pro-Congress TV channel that Arun Kumar
had received money from owners of private sandalwood
extraction units when his father was leader of the opposition.

As Achuthanandan rejected the allegation and the demand
for a probe, the UDF members walked out of the house after
heated exchanges with the treasury benches.
The Chief Minister said the opposition was jolted by
corruption cases and scams haunting their camp and was
trying to deflect attention by making a futile attempt to
target he and his family.

The UDF raised the charge in the assembly despite Arun Kumar
sending a legal notice through a lawyer to Congress leader
M M Hassan and Jaihind TV for levelling "false" charges
against him with the intention of defaming he and his father.

The channel carried a story yesterday, quoting one Khadar
from Kasargode, who alleged that he had paid Rs 7 lakh to
Arun Kumar on behalf of sandalwood unit owners for prevailing
upon Achuthanandan to soften his campaign against `sandal
mafia` as opposition leader in 2003.
Later in the day, Youth Congress state president
P C Vishunath alleged in the house that the Industries
Department, under CPI-M`s Elamaram Kareem, was involved in a
corruption to the tune of Rs 15 crore in connection with
appointments for 1919 posts in PSUs.

Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac, replying to the debate on
vote-on-account, refuted the charge holding that every
appointment was done properly through professional agencies.

Seeking to turn the table on the UDF, Isaac said there
were documents pointing to the involvement of opposition
leader Oommen Chandy in the Palmolein corruption case as he
was the Finance Minister in the UDF ministry that gave nod for
the deal.

Chandy, a former chief minister and the Congress leader in
the house, dared Isaac to move legally against him if he had
evidences to do so.

At the fag-end of the sitting, the UDF members walked out
again accusing the government of dragging its feet on pressing
for a CBI probe into corruption and irregularities in
operations of outside lotteries.

The session is slated to conclude tomorrow and the rival
sides getting ready to campaign for the assembly polls,
whose schedule is expected to be announced by the Election
Commission shortly.

PTI

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