The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) on Saturday registered a case against senior Congress legislator and former state health minister VS Sivakumar after acting on a complaint that he has assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
Reacting on the case, Sivakumar has alleged that the government wants to settle political scores after Congress targeted the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government on irregularities and corruption of serious nature in the functioning of state police. Sivakumar opined that the VACB had conducted a detailed probe and had already given a clean chit, however, the new case is based on an anonymous complaint.
"This is a politically motivated case. When we have raised the issue of corruption as pointed out in the CAG report, they have brought this up. This case is to divert the attention from the corruption of the government. I will cooperate during the probe and take necessary action after discussing with the party leadership," Shivakumar said.
Kerala Congress chief Mullapally Ramachandran welcoming the probe has said that the government should act proactively when Congress comes up with incriminating evidence of corruption against the government.
Targeting the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government, Congress had carried an onslaught after the CAG report revealed state police' irregularities. Leader of opposition had written to CM Vijayan demanding the removal of DGP Loknath Behera and also called for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the purchase of VVIP bulletproof vehicles by the state police.
The CAG report had pointed out DGP Behra's fondness for unreasonable spending on vehicles instead of using the funds meant for improving the operational effectiveness of the force. The report also added that 15 per cent of the 269 light motor vehicles procured by the police department were luxury cars. Also, the bullet-proof vehicles meant for operations in Naxal-infested areas were deployed for VIP security. Also, the cars were purchased without inviting tenders.
The report also cited diversion of funds to the tune of Rs 2.81 crore to construct villas for the state police chief and three additional DGPs which were actually meant for construction of subordinate staff quarters.
The CAG report found that 25 riffles and 12,061 cartridges were missing from the Special Armed Police Battalion (SAPB). The report also revealed that 250 dummy cartridges were used in the coverup of the shortage of 9 mm drill cartridges. The audit also observed that the Stock Register and related records of arms and ammunition in the SAPB were not properly maintained.
Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala has called it a serious issue pertaining to state security and questioned the silence on CM Vijayan.
(With PTI inputs)