Thiruvananthapuram: The vigilance raid on former Congress minister and MLA V S Shivakumar was a political revenge game of the Kerala government, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said on Friday. The Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau (VACB) on Thursday conducted the raid on the residence of former health minister Shivakumar here in connection with a disproportionate assets case against him.
Chennithala alleged that the raid was the diversionary tactics of the state government to take the attention away from corruption in the police force. "This case and raid were part of the diversionary tactics of the state government to take the attention away from the rampant corruption in the police force as was pointed out by the CAG. Neither the government nor the chief minister has uttered a single word about the findings in the CAG report," Chennithala said in a press release.
The raid happened a day after the Vigilance special cell had filed an FIR against the Congress leader naming him as the first accused in the case in which some of his personal staff were also involved. The case was registered when Shivakumar was the minister in the previous Oommen Chandy-led UDF government.
Shivakumar was named the prime accused after the anti-corruption watchdog claimed that he amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income, under the names of his staff. Chennithala said the matter was earlier investigated and was found that it carried no merit. "The Congress party and the United Democratic Front will fight this case legally and politically," Chennithala said.
The raid, which started an Thursday at 8 AM ended after 11 PM and the vigilance officials have not disclosed the details of the raid. The raid was also conducted at the close aides of Shivakumar, who are co-accused in the case - M Rajendran, Shaiju Haran and advocate M S Harikumar.
Meanwhile, Shivakumar, who met media on Friday, said the vigilance team failed to find any evidence against him. "They failed to find anything even after searching for over 14 hours. This was an attempt to tarnish the image of public workers like me," Shivakumar said.
Last week, the state government had given permission to VACB to register a case against senior Congress legislator based on a complaint that he has assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
The VACB had earlier conducted an investigation based on the complaint against Shivakumar but had found nothing incriminating against him. However, the Vigilance had filed a report seeking a detailed investigation into the charges.
The opposition Congress had alleged that the FIR was to divert the attention of the public from the CAG report which indicted the government, pointing at gross irregularities in funds utilisation. Shivakumar had earlier said that the government was settling political scores by registering an FIR against him.