Thiruvananthapuram: Maintaining that it was up to the Centre to take action against promoters of other state lotteries violating rules, Kerala Finance Minister T M
Thomas Isaac on Saturday dismissed Opposition UDF`s demand to hold an inquiry into operations of `lottery mafia` in the state.
"What is now needed is not an inquiry to buy time for saving the lottery kingpins, but stern action from the Centre against violation of rules," Isaac saidhere.
Terming as a "joke" Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy`s demand for his resignation, Isaac said it was during Chandy`s tenure as Chief Minister that the state gave registration to Megha distributors, owned by Santiago Martin, now being dubbed as "criminal" by Congress leaders.
He alleged that the previous UDF government had turned a blind eye to violations of online lotteries and paper lotteries from Sikkim and Bhutan. If Congress could force the
leadership to take action against Abhishek Singhvi who appeared for Megha distributors, they should also prevail upon the Centre to take action against lottery kingpins, he said.
He said a 2008 verdict of the Kerala High Court had clearly said that state governments had no right to hold a roving inquiry about the credentials of a promoter appointed
by another state.
The verdict also said if there are complaints of violations of lottery rules by any promoter, states could bring it to the notice of the Centre which could take appropriate action. He said Kerala government had now submitted a report to the High Court, on the latter`s direction, that Megha Distributors were not the main promoter of Bhutan lotteries.
The state also submitted that there was no documentary evidence to prove that Megha was the authorised agent of Bhutan lotteries. On KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala`s statement that the government was scared of an inquiry into the lottery issue, Isaac said there was no need for a probe as the government had no doubt that Santiago Martin was "violating rules and was keeping the Centre informed about the violations". "It is now upto the Centre to act," he said.