Leaked BJP internal probe report nails Kerala leader for taking bribes
A report filed by Kerala BJP probe panel accuses its own leader of corruption. The internal probe report that was leaked to the media claims that an office bearer in the BJP Kerala unit accepted bribes of Rs 5.60 crore to get Medical Council of India sanction for a college.
The report claims that cooperative cell convenor R S Vinod admitted to taking money from one, R Shaji, the chairman of S R Educational and Charitable Trust in Varkala promising to get him MCI's sanction for a hospital run by his trust. The Kerala BJP chief Kummanam Rajasekharan had ordered an internal probe after Shaji went public accusing Vinod of accepting bribes. Shaji is said to have even sent a letter to National President Amit Shah after which Rajasekharan ordered a probe.
"This has got nothing to do with the party"
Reacting to reports of BJP leader taking bribes, Kerala unit chief Kummanam Rajasekharan said that the allegation had nothing to do with the party. "BJP is a party that deals with corruption in a very strong manner. In this particular issue, the party will discuss it at the appropriate forum and strict action will be taken, if needed. But what's being heard now has got nothing to do with our party," he said. The Kerala unit of the BJP will hold a meeting on Friday where the issue will be discussed.
"Vinod admitted having taken the money to get medical college status to SR hospital in Varkala. He paid this money to a Delhi-based middleman through a hawala dealer near Kochi," the leaked report says. The committee even recorded the statements of the complainant who said that he handed over the money to Vinod after he claimed to have known a middleman who had ensured MCI sanction for many other colleges. Further, the probe also accuses other leaders of indulging in similar actions including a district secretary.
The internal probe committee's report comes as a blot on the BJP's clean image that every party leader including Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pushing. The committee is said to have even examined the middleman who took the money from party leader Vinod.
The Congress in the state lashed out at the BJP and sought a CBI probe. Speaking to the media, senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said that the report by BJP's own leaders exposed the party's tall claims of being non-corrupt. "We demand a CBI inquiry into the allegations of kickbacks," he said. Leaders of the CPM have decided to raise the issue in the Parliament.
(With agency inputs)