The CPI(M) in Kerala on Sunday rejected all the claims of the Congress party over alleged irregularities in the implementation of the AI camera system to deter traffic violators in the State under "Safe Kerala" project, and termed it as "baseless".
CPI(M) state secretary, M V Govindan, in a press meet here, asked the Leader of Opposition (LoP), V D Satheesan and former LoP and senior Congress leader, Ramesh Chennithala to "reach an agreement" on the corruption amount they were alleging.
Govindan said the Congress was raising "such baseless" allegations to divert the attention of the public from the achievements of the Left government.
The senior Left leader said that the project was implemented to follow Section 136 A of the Motor Vehicles Act, that directs the State government to ensure electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety.
"Satheesan is saying that there was corruption of Rs 100 crore. Chennithala claims that the corruption amount was Rs 132 crore. While the whole project for AI cameras was worth Rs 232 crore. They should get their numbers right. The Congress leaders should first reach an agreement on what to allege," Govindan said.
He said the allegations raised by both the leaders were baseless.
"The total cost of the project comes around Rs 142 crore. There is a functioning expense of Rs 56.24 crore for five years. This includes a control room in all 14 districts, annual maintenance, staff, their salaries, internet and everything. Then there is a GST of Rs 35.76 crore and it all totals to Rs 232.25 crore. But the Congress leaders will not give you the whole numbers," Govindan alleged.
The senior Left leader also claimed that the Congress was using the "BJP's trick" to spread fake news.
"The Prime Minister, the Congress and the BJP are trying to weaken the Left government by creating fake news to tarnish the image of the State," he said.
Govindan said the Left government was implementing a scientific method to reduce traffic violations and accidents.
"On the first day of its implementation, the AI cameras detected 4.5 lakh traffic violations. According to the Motor Vehicle Department, the violations have come down to 1.25 lakh now after people became aware of the presence of the cameras and fines being imposed," Govindan claimed.
Meanwhile, the BJP asked the Chief Minister and the government to "answer" to the people over the corruption charges.
BJP state chief K Surendran said Govindan was ridiculing himself by justifying the Chief Minister over the allegations.
The Congress has been raising corruption charges against the "Safe Kerala" project, which aims to reduce road accidents and traffic violations in the State, since its inauguration in April.
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