"I did not say I traveled in a helicopter that was spraying the pesticide endosulfan on plantations in Kasargode."
This was the clarification by an embarrassed K Babu, the Kerala state minister for Fisheries, Ports and Excise to The News Minute.
The minister's denial comes a day after media reports that he had revealed details about traveling on a helicopter that was spraying killer pesticide Endosulfan on plantations in Kasaragod district in the 1980s.
"I only said that being a board member of the Kerala Plantation Corporation, I had traveled on that same helicopter when the pesticides were taken to Kasargod, but I did not say that I was on board while the spraying was going on," he told The News Minute.
The minister was attending a program to inaugurate 108 houses for endosulfan victims in Kasaragod district of Kerala, when he reportedly made the comment.
Mathrubhumi had reported that K Babu revealed in the function that he was on the helicopter during the spraying. The report had also said that the minister played a key role in the project that used endosulphan in Kasaragod.
But Minister denied the report and told The News Minute that he was not present while spraying but he just travelled in the same helicopter, while he was
The Minister claimed that neither he nor officials of the corporation were aware of the hazardous effects of the pesticide endosulfan.