The Kerala BJP has smelled a rat as the traditional political rivals — the ruling Left and the Congress-led UDF appear to move hand in glove over reports of frauds in a few Cooperative banks in the state.
For the past few weeks, the Cooperative banking sector in Kerala has been having a bumpy ride with few banks coming under a cloud with anxious depositors waiting in front of them to pull out their money after alleged scams surfaced.
One such bank which hit the headlines was at Trissur, while the other one is at Malappuram and while the former one is a fully CPI-M controlled bank and in the fraud, a few arrests have been made, at the Malappuram, the one who is facing the heat on account of deposits is of the state’s topmost politician and veteran legislator P.K. Kunhalikutty of the Indian Union Muslim League.
And it was not until Kunhalikutty’s arch political rival, former State Minister K.T. Jaleel who has been going hammer and tongs and even went before the Enforcement Directorate complaining about an over Rs 1,000 crore fraud which was done by Kunhalikutty, which Jaleel claims is unaccounted black money, was outrightly denied by the CPI-M, which included Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and also the acting secretary of the CPI-M, A. Vijayaraghavan.
On Wednesday, Cooperative Minister V.N. Vasavan said the state government will not play the ball to anyone’s vested interest.
“You should ask Jaleel only, on what he said about Kunhalikutty and in the state itself we have enough machinery to probe any aspect in the Cooperative segment and we do not need the help of the ED,” said Vasavan and added that the Chief Minister has already made things very clear.
It was on Tuesday in the midst of Vijayan’s media briefing on Covid, in reply to a question on Jaleel’s request for an ED probe into the Malappuram bank’s dealings, he said, “I think Jaleel has a newfound trust in ED as he was in the recent past questioned by the agency. He should not have made such a demand and there is no need for it,” said Vijayan.
But on Wednesday Jaleel who has taken a severe knock from the CPI-M, wrote in his Facebook post that Vijayan is someone who can take any liberties because he is like a father figure to me and can say anything about me.
“I will till my last breath fight against Kunhalikutty, who is engaged in shady things and my fight against him will go on,” said Jaleel.
And on Wednesday, joining the issue was national vice-president of the BJP, a former Lok Sabha member, when he was with the CPI-M and later moved to the Congress and was a legislator, A.P. Abdullakutty said he is preparing a complaint to be given to the Finance and Cooperative Ministry at the Centre.
“Vijayan is trying to help Kunhalikutty and it’s against this that I am going to give a complaint as things have to be cleaned up in the Cooperative sector in Kerala,” said Abdullakutty, who joined the BJP in 2019.