Ramesh Chennithala on Saturday released purportedphotos of
Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma holding discussions with
representativesof a US-based firm hereon a deep sea fishing
project, against the agreement of which he had leveled
Besides the minister, the company representatives and the
fisheries department officials could also be seen in the
purported photos, released by the leader in a press meet here.
He also released what he termed was ''documentary evidence''
-- a purported concept note submitted by the company to the
Fisheries Department and the letter sent by the Fisheries
Principal Secretary to the EMCC president on the controversial
The photos were made public a day after the Left
government had rejected asbaseless his corruptionchargein
an agreement inked by the state-owned Kerala Shipping and
Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) with the US-based EMCC
International for the deep sea fishing project.
The Congress leader hadalleged corruption involving Rs
5,000 crore in the agreement with the firm and the company had
been allowed deep sea fishing.
He had also saidthe agreement wouldaffect the interest
of fishermen community in Kerala.
However, rubbishing the charges, Mercykutty Amma had said
the allegations had no merit and Chennithala was speaking of
an imaginary agreement.
"It has now become proved that whatever the minister had
said were blatant lies.
The company officials have already confirmed to the
media that they had held discussion with her at New York also
in this regard.
The photos of that meeting are also expected to be
available soon," Chennithala said here on Saturday.
the Congress leader said there was more ample evidence to
confirm that Mercykutty Amma had held discussions with the
US-based firm and Industries Minister E P Jayarajan was well
aware about the project and added that the Left government had
shown keen interest to take it forward.
Alleging that it was a vicious attempt to cheat the
fishermen community, Chennithala also said if the opposition
had not found this now, the entire marine wealth of Kerala
would have been plundered in two or three years.
He also asked how Chief Minister could not know about such
a mammoth project when the KSINC, under his direct control,
had signed an MoU with a US-based firm.
However, the Fisheries Minister continued to reject the
opposition charge for the second day also.
Though she confirmed that the EMCC International
officials had met her here, she said she did not remember what
they had discussed about the project.
She had said on Friday that no agreement was signed by
the government to allow fishing by the US firm.
The Minister also said that only the Centre can permit
deep sea fishing by a foreign company and the state government
will not take any steps affecting the fishermen community. PTI