Kerala CM slams central probe agencies for having 'vested interests'

The CM said that by interfering in the government projects, the investigating agencies are implicitly telling that there are other private agencies to engage in business.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday slammed various central investigation agencies stating that they should not ‘dance’ to the tune of a ‘few defective minds’. Pinararyi Vijayan, who met the media via video conference after holding the COVID-19 evaluation meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, slammed the probe agencies which have sought the details of various developmental projects and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on government’s Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

Recently, in a draft report, the CAG had allegedly said the KIIFB was raising loans "unconstitutionally." Various central probe agencies are investigating different projects of the state government, including its ambitious Kerala Fibre Optic Network Project (K-FON) project aimed at providing free and quality internet to everyone in the state. The CM said the K-FON project intends to provide an internet connection to all houses and offices in the state and “some people were upset about the project.”

"We understand that some people may have some vested interest in the matter. But how can an investigating agency in the country have that vested interest? Why are they trying to interfere with this? It is funded by KIIFB and is implemented by one of the Navartna Companies in the country, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)," Vijayan said.

He said the Left government will fulfil its responsibilities entrusted upon it by the people of the state.

"They (the investigating agencies) are implicitly telling us that there are other private agencies to engage in this business. I would like to tell them don't come here advocating for any corporate company. The investigation agencies should not dance to the tune of a few defective minds," Pinarayi Vijayan said.

He said the state government intends to take Kerala forward from what it was in 2016 and not backwards. "We will fulfil our responsibility no matter what," he said.

He also criticised the Opposition, the Congress and the BJP, and claimed both the parties are unhappy with the development works happening in the state. Vijayan also mocked the "unity" between the Sangh Parivar and the Congress on the KIIFB issue.

"I would like to ask the Opposition leaders, including the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, whether they require projects under KIIFB in their constituency or not. However, our policy is to provide the developmental projects to all constituencies irrespective of the elected member and their parties," Vijayan said.

He alleged that investigating agencies were targeting the officials behind the various projects of the state.

"Over the years, our state has received multiple awards for good governance. This was possible due to the involvement of our officials at the executive level. Now, all the investigative agencies in the country are hovering above these officers. They are interfering in a way the officers become indifferent towards the continuation of the projects," Vijayan said.

The Chief Minister cited various developmental activities undertaken by the government using KIIFB funding and said the people are happy about it.

"Look at our schools. The people of our state are happy with the international standards of our government schools. Our health sector was improved with funds from KIIFB...roads, other basic facilities improved using funds from KIIFB," Vijayan said.

Earlier in the day, Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac had also lashed out at the Congress and the BJP over the KIIFB controversy and said it was a "joint agenda" to destroy the investment board and hinder Kerala's growth.

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