The Indian National Congress allegedly owes a builder in Kerala Rs 2.8 crores. This has come to haunt the party at a time when it is reeling under the election defeat.
Realty firm Heather Constructions in Kerala sent a legal notice in April to the president of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) for non-payment of dues amounting to roughly Rs.2.8 crores that was incurred in 2013 to construct the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies at Neyyar Dam in Thiruvananthapuram.
The project was sanctioned by then KPCC president and current state Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and the building had been inaugurated by Sonia Gandhi in 2013.
The legal notice was issued by the firm to AICC president Sonia Gandhi, Ramesh Chennithala who is also the chairman of the institute, KPCC president VM Sudheeran, Oommen Chandy who is a member of the governing body and the institute director Hidur Muhammad.
According to Mangalam newspaper that broke the story, factionalism within the party had resulted in this chaotic situation. While the building had been sanctioned when Chennithala was the state party chief, VM Sudheeran who took over next had disapproved the â€˜excessiveâ€™ cost.
Unconfirmed reports quote state Congress sources as referring to the said matter as a minor issue and that the payment was not made due to lack of funds for the same.
According to the legal notice, the property was purchased through a sale deed in favour of KPCC.
The actual cost break-up that was not paid to the builder is as follows:
-Rs.1,16,58,806 for the main building
- Rs 7685750 for the dormitory
- Rs 3004356 for electrification
A total amount of Rs 2,80,40,376 was due to the client. All the bills were apparently submitted to the KPCC in Sep 2013.