Finally breaking its silence on the CAG report on Kerala Police, the CPI-M on Sunday appeared to be more worried about the leaking of the report and less concerned about the contents, which speak of the corrupt deals of Kerala Police.
The Congress-led opposition has gone hammer and tongs against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for his stoic silence on this issue, who had said that he will speak about this only in the Assembly, when it resumes in the first week of March.
Speaking to the media after the end of the two-day deliberation of the various committees of the CPI-M, state party secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said generally the CAG report is placed before the Assembly, but this time most of the content of the report was surprisingly revealed by a member in the Assembly itself, before the report was placed.
"The CAG should find out what happened as this is an issue of privilege in the Assembly. It's here that, naturally, a sort of suspicion arises, if it was a planned one.
Also the Accountant General conducted a detailed press conference and this generally does not happen," said Balakrishnan. The CAG report for 2013-18 tabled in the Kerala Assembly on Wednesday pointed out to missing guns and cartridges, misuse of funds and diversion of funds.
It also pointed to the alleged collusion between Keltron, a state public sector company and police in purchases made by the latter. "The CAG report does not speak of corruption, but more about diversion of funds. Missing bullets is a feature for long and it's got to do with improper accounting. Such things were pointed out when I was the Home Minister and it has been like that for long.
"Generally in the police department, due to the urgent need of implementing things, what happens is the decision taken first and it is later ratified. Nevertheless, the CAG report goes before the Public Accounts Committee of the Legislature and is headed by a seasoned Congress legislator V.D. Sateeshan and now let us wait for them to look into it," said Balakrishnan.
"Maybe one reason why the Congress-led UDF is 'upbeat' on the CAG report is because two of their former Minister's are now under the net of the Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau," added Balakrishnan, who made his first public appearance before the media after few months of rest as he was undergoing treatment for treatment.
Ahead of the CAG report being placed in the Assembly, senior Congress MLA P.T. Thomas had raised numerous allegations against the police and many were surprised to find striking similarities with the CAG report.
Thomas, however, said: "A vernacular daily a month back had run a feature on corruption in government departments and when I pursued it, I got a good number of corrupt deals in the police. "Now that I have already done this, let the police charge me and take me to task. I have no issues with that," said Thomas. Meanwhile, the Congress is getting ready to take on Vijayan, and the strategy for this will be decided in a day or two.