UDF demands probe into charges against CM, son

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 25 (PTI) The Congress-led UDFin Kerala today demanded a detailed probe into charges ofinfluencing a judicial commission against Chief Minister V SAchuthanandan and that of bribery against his son.

UDF convenor P P Thankachan told reporters here thatthe Chief Minister''s son V A Arun Kumar was facing charges oftaking bribe to help sandalwood factory owners, involvement inthe ''Smart City'' deal and trying to sabotage the probe intolottery mafia operations.

Former CPI-M state committee member P Sasi had allegedin a letter to the party leadership that Achuthanandan hadtried to influence the judicial commission that probed the2003 hooch tragedy that claimed 31 lives when E K Nayanar wasChief Minister to implicate him (Sasi) in the case.

K Ramkumar, senior advocate at the High Court had alsoalleged that the Chief Minister had mediators'' in Delhi todeal with his cases, he said.

"All these are serious charges and have been raised bypersons in responsible positions. Hence a thorough enquiryshould be ordered," he said.

Describing Achuthanandan''s anti-corrupt stand ashypocritical,'' Thankachan said the UDF would submit amemorandum to Governor R S Gavai to direct the government toorder an enquiry into the allegations.

He said UDF leaders, who met here last evening,protested government''s stance in the assembly yesterdaydenying a chance for the Opposition to raise the allegationsin the House.

The Chief Minister''s speech after the Speakerannounced the decision to adjourn the session was againstrules precedents, he said, adding, the speaker had been askedto expunge the speech from assembly records, he said.

Achuthanandan had described the charges as "baseless".

Kumar had sent legal notices to Congress leader M MHassan and a pro-Congress TV channel, alleging that baselesscharges were levelled against him with the intention ofdefaming his father.

Thankachan also said the seat-sharing talks withpartners for the coming Assembly polls would be held fromMarch 8 to 12.

A nine-member committee chaired by Congress leader M MHassan had been authorised to formulate the Front''s electionmanifesto,he said.

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