In the aftermath of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's assertion that the state government had addressed the Karuvannur bank scam, the Congress-led UDF opposition reiterated on Thursday its claim that he was shielding the perpetrators of the fraud.
Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan accused the chief minister of defending those responsible for looting over Rs 500 crore from cooperative banks in Thrissur. Vijayan's analogy, stating that one bad grain should not condemn the entire bowl, was countered by Satheesan, who argued that the entire bowl was tainted, PTI reported.
Satheesan expressed concern that Vijayan's stance discredits the cooperative sector and ignores the plight of investors. While opposing harm to the cooperative sector, he urged the government to cleanse it by removing bad elements.
Moreover, Satheesan criticized the Chief Minister and ministers for their Kerala constituency tours and the Keraleeyam 2023 program, labeling it as the LDF's election campaign at the government's expense. In a time of financial crisis, he deemed such extravagance inappropriate and accused the government of squandering taxpayers' money without addressing the state's financial predicament.
In response, Vijayan defended Keraleeyam 2023, asserting it aimed to showcase the state's achievements. He encouraged opposition participation, emphasizing the review meetings were an opportunity for the public to learn about government initiatives.
The ongoing Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe into the Karuvannur bank scam became a focal point, with Vijayan dismissing it as a politically motivated attack on the cooperative sector. The recent arrest of a local CPI(M) leader heightened tensions, with Vijayan characterizing it as an attempt to undermine the cooperative sector ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
The ED's investigation, stemming from FIRs filed by the Kerala Police in 2010, alleges that loans were disbursed to non-members through manipulation, and funds were laundered to benefit the accused. The ED's involvement in the case dates back to raids conducted in August of the previous year.