Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 11: A heated exchange of words between the ruling and opposition party members was witnessed today in Kerala Assembly over a decade-old case relating to awarding a contract.
The trouble started when the Opposition sought for a discussion on the adjournment motion over the case related to the alleged irregularities in awarding contract for setting up a pollution treatment plant for the state-run Travancore Titanium Products (TTP) here.
The opposition members led by CPI(M) veteran V S Achutanandan staged a walkout after Speaker N Sakthan rejected their demand for discussion over the issue. Though they returned to the House when the submissions listed for the day were taken up, Achuthanandan announced that they would not cooperate with the "corrupt" government and participate in the motion of thanks to the Governor's address.
Later, the ruling benches participated in the discussion on the Governor's address in the absence of the Opposition. The LDF opposition is on an agitational path in the Assembly for the past two days over the solar and bribery scams.
Today, as part of the strategy to attack the government, the LDF had sought a debate on the irregularities in awarding the contract in which they alleged that some of the Congress leaders were involved in awarding the contract. The case related to alleged corruption in setting up of an effluent treatment plant in TTP in 2005 during the previous tenure of Oommen Chandy as Chief Minister.
The Opposition also alleged ministers Ramesh Chennithala and Ibrahim Kunju were also involved in the case. Rejecting their charges, Chandy took a dig at the Opposition and said though the LDF, which had ruled the state for five years after the tendering process for the plant started in 2005, it could not unearth any evidence against them.
"It is shameful to come out with such allegations now", he said. Chandy said the petitioner, who filed a private complaint in the Vigilance Court seeking probe in the case, had included his and his Cabinet colleagues names in 2011 due to some personal enmity. Chennithala said none of the Congress leaders were listed as accused in the case at present and his name was unnecessarily dragged into the issue.