Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist CPI (M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Wednesday demanded a probe into how Adani Enterprises won the bid to operate five international airports, including Thiruvananthapuram.
Balakrishnan, the party's Kerala state Secretary, told the media in Thiruvananthapuram that it was quite strange that the group was able to win the rights to all the five airports.
"It is true that this was given through a tender and that's why we are doubtful if the tendering process was fool-proof... how come Adani won in all the five. We demand that a complete probe should be announced as this is nothing but a rip-off," he said.
"We have decided to launch a strong protest and in it we request the (Congress-led) UDF and also the BJP to join, as all of us can unitedly fight against this high-handed corrupt deal. This has taken place just before the upcoming polls and hence it is not a proper tendering process, it's a corrupt deal," he added.
Kodiyeri also accused Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor of playing a role in ensuring that Adani wins the bid for the airport.
Last week after Adani had won the rights, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the airport in Thiruvananthapuram not to be handed over to Adani and alleging that it was a scam.
In the letter, Pinarayi demanded Modi's immediate intervention to see that the state-owned Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd-led company, formed especially for operating the airport, be given the running of the Thiruvananthapuram Airport.
In the financial bid opened on Monday, Adani had quoted the highest rate for a passenger for the Thiruvananthapuram airport at Rs 168, against the KSIDC's Rs 135 and the GMR's Rs 63.
The other airports that Adani Enterprises have won in the tender are Mangaluru, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Jaipur.