Thiruvananthapuram, July 21 (IANS) Even as an official state vigilance probe began on Friday into an alleged medical college scam involving BJP leaders in Kerala, the CPI-M’s Kerala unit has sought a probe by a national agency alleging BJP national leaders are also involved.
State CPI-M secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters on Friday that a probe by a national agency is needed as not just Kerala BJP leaders but national leaders of the party are involved in the scam.
“This is a scam that has national relevance as it’s not just in Kerala this has happened. A probe by the BJP won’t suffice as 70 medical colleges across the country are involved, and the corruption has a national perspective as national leaders of the BJP have a role in this,” said Balakrishnan.
BJP’s national spokesperson G.V.L. Narashima Rao said there is no need for any further probe as what happened in Kerala is not corruption but unethical practise of a BJP worker and strong action has been taken against him.
In a related development, the BJP cancelled Friday’s core committee meeting and has instead called a state committee meeting for Saturday.
Meanwhile, Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra told the media that “I gave the orders for a probe based on a complaint that I got. The probe begins today.” Behra also heads the Vigilance Department.
The case pertains to a Rs 5.60 crore bribe allegedly paid by a privately managed medical college to Kerala-based BJP leaders for influencing the Medical Council of India (MCI). Since then, there has been another such allegation in northern Kerala.
CPI-M leader Brinda Karat told reporters in Kozhikode on Friday that this was just the tip of the iceberg of corruption involving the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“The national leaders of the BJP speak of ‘Swachh Bharat’ and now they should begin that from within their party,” she said.
Kerala BJP chief Kummanem Rajasekheran, while denying any links of the party with the alleged scam, on Thursday night expelled the party’s Cooperative Cell Convenor R.S. Vinod after his name surfaced in an internal committee report leaked to the media.
One of the BJP leaders whose name figures in the report is of Kerala unit General Secretary M.T. Ramesh, who has denied any involvement in the scam and said he was being targeted by vested interests.
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