Thiruvananthapuram, July 23 : The second day of the second session of the 15th Kerala Assembly on Friday saw multiple walkouts by the Congress-led Opposition and both walkouts pertained to corruption issues in which the ruling CPI-M-led government allegedly had crucial roles.
The first walkout was witnessed during the question hour when an angry opposition stormed out of the house protesting the decision of State Forest Minister A.K.Saseendran when he ruled out a judicial probe into what the opposition alleged was a Rs 1,000 crore illegal tree felling deal carried out under a dubious government order issued by the Revenue Department last year during the tenure of the first Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left government.
The second walkout was after Speaker M.B.Rajesh ruled out a discussion in an adjournment motion moved by the Congress-led opposition over a massive fraud that has surfaced at a CPI-M controlled cooperative bank in Trissur.
Moving the motion, Congress legislator Shafi Parambil said the scam that has surfaced happened in the full knowledge of the CPI-M. However, State Cooperation Minister V.N.Vasavan said that discrepancies have come out and a Crime Branch Police probe has already begun.
“A sum of Rs 104.37 crore loan discrepancy has been found out and seven employees in the bank have been suspended,” said Vasavan.
Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan said this is one of the biggest bank frauds witnessed in the state and it’s in excess of Rs 1,000 crore.
“Two different committee’s of the CPI-M undertook a probe into what happened. But they kept mum. Today the depositors of this bank are unable to withdraw their money. Just see, numerous scams have come out where the CPI-M members are involved and surprisingly the party stands rock-solid behind these erring party members.
“The apex Kerala Bank was all set to transfer Rs 50 crore to this bank and just imagine what would have happened to the Kerala Bank, had it been transferred,” said Satheesan.
The police probe has charged three bank staff members, all members of the CPI-M in the fraud and it includes manager Biju Karim, secretary T.R.Sunilkumar and accountant C.K.Jills.
Incidentally the fraud first surfaced in 2019, when an employee of the bank pointed it out. Soon he fell out with the local party leaders and lost his job. Later he joined the BJP and is in the forefront of unravelling the scam.
The modus operandi of those behind the loan scam was to take loans in the name of account holders who had pledged their property with the bank.
Now it has also surfaced that those who were being sanctioned loans were asked to take shares in an upcoming resort at Thekkady.