The MLA was in the house of a Kochi native when Income Tax officers arrived at the spot as part of a raid.

PT Thomas in his white shirt sits smiling and in the background are green plants
news Controversy Saturday, October 10, 2020 - 13:06

Thirkkakara Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) PT Thomas found himself in the middle of a controversy after it was reported that he was present during an illegal money deal that was taking place in Kochi, when the premises were raided by the Income Tax Department on Thursday. The Congress MLA denied allegations of running away from the spot when officials reached the house.

The money deal took place at a house in Edapally. Reportedly, Income Tax raided the house when lakhs of money, suspected to be unaccounted, was about to be transferred between two persons in liquid cash. Differing reports state that the agency seized Rs 40 lakh to Rs 50 lakh from the house.

Though PT Thomas accepted that he was present at the house, he claimed that he had no role in the money transactions and that he was there to resolve disputes between two families. Meanwhile, Kochi-native social worker Martin Menacherry has filed a complaint with the Directorate General of Income Tax that the MLA’s role should be probed and that the seized amount was hawala money.

According to PT Thomas, he was present in the house of Edappally resident Rajeev, son of Communist veteran Dineshan, one of the accused in the famous 1950 Edappally police station blast case. The family had been living in the place which had been given as tenancy land (kudikidappu) 40 years ago. However, the land was sold by the owner to someone named Ramakrishnan, who in turn, asked Rajeev’s family to vacate the place, he said.

“Rajeev’s brother had worked as my driver earlier. He is now no more. Recently, Rajeev approached me asking if I can try to resolve the issue. Though the family of the Communist veteran had been going from door to door, not even Left leaders were able to resolve this. Following discussions in the presence of other local leaders like Councillor and CPI(M)’s local branch secretary, it was decided that that family will vacate the house if they are given Rs 80 lakh,” said PT Thomas.

He added that, on Thursday, he had gone to Rajeev’s house when the transaction was to happen, as a person who mediated to resolve the issue. “I read out the agreement regarding this to everyone who was present in the house. Then Ramakrishnan handed over two bags to Rajeev. It was when I was coming out of the house, that Income Tax officers reached there and I left the house. I hadn’t tried to run like some reports say,” said the MLA.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) leaders have alleged that there are more discrepancies in the deal. “Anyone who eats rice can understand what has happened here. This is illegal. The MLA should face action,” state secretary of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of the CPI(M), AA Rahim said. He also added in his Facebook post that the MLA is no longer eligible to continue in his post.

Watch: PT Thomas reacts to allegations

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