news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
Haritha John | The News Minute | December 23, 2014 | 21.56 pm IST The vigilance probe against Public Works Department(PWD) Secretary T.O Sooraj’s and MLA B Ganesh Kumar’s allegations in the Assembly are two controversies that hit the Kerala PWD Ministry this year. It was perhaps one of the most embarrassing moments for the Kerala government when corruption charges were leveled against the Public Works Minister’s office, that too in the state assembly by a ruling front MLA, B Ganesh Kumar. Kerala PWD minister V K Ebrahim Kunju, known for his diplomatic comments, spoke to The News Minute on all the allegations against his Ministry. Ganesh Kumar had alleged that three personal staff of the PWD minister were corrupt and some had misbehaved with him. Asked about this allegation, the Minister dismissed the allegations against his ministry as baseless. He claimed that he had never received any complaints against his personal staff earlier. “Somebody is urging Ganesh to make fake allegations. He personally doesn’t have any complaints, he speaks for someone else as I said in the Assembly” he said. The minister insists there was no reason for Ganesh Kumar to feel sidelined as the department had not show any discrimination to Ganesh Kumar’s constituency as alleged by the MLA himself. “Like any other constituency we have implemented 49 crore rupees worth projects in Ganesh’s constituency too. We did not show any discrimination. And we have passed 123 non-planned projects there. Though he has denied all these, we have papers to prove our claim,” he firmly stated. The Muslim league minister has also argued that if the MLA had any complaints about the personal staff’s behavior, Ganesh had the freedom and right to take it up with the PWD minister directly. “Ganesh was a former minister and a powerful MLA, he should have complained about this to me rather than announcing it in the Assembly” he said. Vigilance case against Sooraj Ebrahim Kunju did not deny the allegations against T O Sooraj but said that he could react only after the enquiry. “Vigilance enquiry is going on, we can’t say anything until the crime is proven. Only if his corruption charges are proven I can confirm it,” he said. He had earlier told media that he was not informed about the raid in Sooraj’s house. “Usually before any action is taken against the higher officials in a particular department, the concerned department minister is informed. But this had happened all of a sudden. Even Home Minister came to know about it half an hour prior to the raid,” he says. Sources in the Ministry had told vigilance officials that Sooraj was corrupt and had even taken his family for official foreign trips along with the minister. “He has been corrupt ever since he had power. Though he had registered cases against him, he was conferred IAS. He had a role in Kalammassery land acquisition scam. On all his official foreign trips, along with minister and other staff, he takes his family,” sources in the ministry told TNM. However the Minister declined to comment on these allegations. Ebrahim Kunju insisted that people should look at the visible changes he has brought to the department rather than concentrating on fake allegations. “I have implemented e-tendering, the 40-year-old PWD manual has been renewed, new technologies like chipping carpet and BTM- BTC technologies have been introduced along with rubberization in tarring the roads. Compare the PWD department 5 years back and now. We should look at development rather than baseless allegations,” he says.
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