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Kerala BJP Chief Kummanam Rajasekharan Under Fire for Sitting on Graft Report Against Partyman

As per the report, co-operative cell convener RS Vinod took Rs 5.6 crore in exchange for getting a Medical Council of India (MCI) nod for a college, and routed the money to Delhi through a hawala operative.

Neethu Reghukumar | CNN-News18

Updated:July 22, 2017, 3:49 PM IST
Kerala BJP Chief Kummanam Rajasekharan Under Fire for Sitting on Graft Report Against Partyman
File photo of BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan. (Qamar Sibtain via Getty Images)

Thiruvananthapuram: The BJP central leadership has asked its Kerala unit to act ruthlessly on the corruption allegations against a functionary which has pushed the party on the backfoot in the state.

State BJP chief Kummanam Rajasekharan faced criticism at a core committee meeting of the party on Saturday over his handling of graft charges against RS Vinod over the issue of grant of Medical Council of India (MCI) clearance to a private medical college.

At the meeting, Kummanam faced flak for sitting on the findings for almost a month, while BJP's National Joint Organising Secretary BL Santosh and National Secretary in Charge of Kerala H Raja said strict action will be taken against those who leaked the report.

The party leadership is embarrassed over the leak of an internal commission report on the graft charge against its co-operative cell convener RS Vinod. It later even turned out that three different versions of the report were leaked out to the media. Questions were also raised over the handling of the issue after the report was leaked.

Replying at the meeting, Kummanam said the internal committee was set up in “total secrecy” and he did not expect that it would be leaked.

A top leader of the BJP told CNN-News18 strict action has already been initiated against Vinod and that the party will also act against any other functionary whose name comes up.

Ramesh Chennithala, Kerala Congress spokesperson, said: “Inquiry by BJP is not enough for the people of Kerala. I am demanding CBI probe into the case. In coming days more details will emerge but only a CBI enquiry can help catch the real culprits”.

Meanwhile, Shashi Tharoor said, “The party which makes tall claims is exposed on this particular issue. The tainted leader was going about doing all his business until he is caught”.

As per the report, RS Vinod took Rs 5.6 crore in exchange for getting a Medical Council of India (MCI) nod for a college, and routed the money to Delhi through a hawala operative.

The report said the cash was transferred to one Satheesh Nair in Delhi through a hawala operative. The committee had recommended “suitable action” against Vinod.

After the leaked report caused furore, the BJP expelled RS Vinod and the state government ordered an inquiry by the vigilance department. As per a complaint, Vinod allegedly took Rs 5.6 crore from Shaji, chairman of the SR Educational and Charitable Trust, for helping him get the MCI nod for the college. The name of BJP state general secretary MT Ramesh had also surfaced during the inquiry.

Shaji claimed that he came to know that the Kerala Medical College Cherpulassery got MCI recognition by giving Rs 5 crore to Satheesh Nair through MT Ramesh. The latter has refuted the allegations and said he was open to any inquiry.

The incident has come as a huge embarrassment to the BJP state unit especially since the party at the Centre has been advocating zero-tolerance towards corruption. The state vigilance and anti corruption bureau is conducting an investigation. Both the CPM and the Congress have used the report to try and corner the BJP. According to sources, the report was leaked to the media by a faction of the party when no action was taken after it was submitted last month.

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| Edited by: Ananya Chakraborty
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