The Congress on Monday claimed that a top CPI(M) leader's son was involved in giving government land to a private group to start a brewery in Ernakulam. Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court was moved over grant of licences for three breweries and one distillery.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala flayed the Left Democratic Front government led by the CPI-M for what he called "violating all norms in giving licences to four companies to engage in liquor business".
Public activist V George moved the High Court and pleaded for its intervention, citing the manner in which the Pinarayi Vijayan government had issued licences to three breweries in Kannur, Palakkad and Ernakulam and a distillery in Thrissur.
"There has been a conspiracy at the highest level in the CPI-M to sanction these units. The role of a son of a top CPI-M leader in this case has also surfaced... in a matter of 48 hours, sanction of government land to the brewery was given," Chennithala said and asked the media to probe who the CPI(M) leader is.
He said he had met Governor P Sathasivam and urged him to accord permission for registration of a case against those who violated rules to sanction these liquor units.
At Palakkad, angry Congress workers marched to the proposed brewery site and shouted slogans against alleged flouting of rules and claimed a large quantity of underground water will be drawn as raw material for the unit.
"Under no circumstances will we allow this unit to get functional as huge amount of water is required," said VK Sreekantan, Palakkad District Congress President.
The Palakkad brewery site is located in VS Achuthanandan's constituency and state Congress leaders asked the former Chief Minister to clear his stand on the matter.
Industries Minister EP Jayarajan said that no wrong was done in giving licences.
"Nothing wrong has been done and we will give more licences, if required," Jayarajan told the media.