Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress and the BJP have a 'joint agenda' to destroy the KIIFB, Kerala's unique investment body, state Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac said on Monday.
Isaac lashed out at the two parties over the KIIFB row saying they were trying to hamper Kerala's growth. The finance minister reiterated his allegations for the third day in a row even as Congress legislator V D Satheeshan moved a breach of privilege notice against him.
The ruling Left and the Opposition parties have been locked in a war of words over the last two days on the CAG's draft report on Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) which allegedly said it was raising loans "unconstitutionally".
'Ram Madhav gave nod for case'
"It was the RSS leader Ram Madhav, who gave the green signal to Swadeshi Jagran Manch leader to move against KIIFB in the High Court.
Congress leader Mathew Kuzhalnadan has taken the case to derail the development of Kerala through KIIFB," Isaac said in a Facebook post.
Isaac said the move was a political plot undermining the constitutional authority of the states.
"It's astounding how someone has gone public with such logic-defying accusations. With each passing day, the BJP-Congress joint agenda to destroy KIIFB and hamper Kerala's growth becomes clearer. LDF will undertake the political task to unmask this nexus," the minister said.
Meanwhile, Congress MLA Satheeshan moved a breach of privilege notice against the minister for making public the details of the draft CAG report before it was tabled in the assembly.
Isaac hit out at Congress leader Mathew Kuzhalnadan, who is also the lawyer of a Swadeshi Jagran Manch leader, for moving a petition in the High Court against the KIIFB.
"I would like to ask the Congress leader, the counsel of the petitioner, his political stand.
It sounds good to hear that his profession as an advocate and his politics will not mix but I would like to know whether he will take the vakalath seeking to nullify the election of Rahul Gandhi? Will he take up the case for RSS if they approach him in the matter related to the Gandhi assassination comments of Rahul Gandhi," the minister asked.
He also challenged the lawyer, who claimed huge corruption was involved in KIIFB and that he was not planning to reveal the details due to professional ethics, saying the Left government does not need anyone's favour. Why is the KPCC secretary hiding the details of corruption?" the minister asked.
Isaac said the question before law was whether KIIFB is a statutory body or a corporate body.
"It's explained in the KIIF Act section 4 (2) that the board shall be a body corporate. KIIFB was formed based on an Act passed by the Kerala Assembly as a body corporate. NHAI, Coal India and others are also such legally formed corporates," the minister said.
Kuzhalnadan challenges Isaac
Replying to Isaac's charges, Kuzhalnadan said he would not backtracck on the case. He challenged Isaac to prove that he held discussion wwith any BJP leader abouut the case. " It's the govvernment's responsibility to settle the liability caused by the government. Isaac's claims are meant to mislead the public," he said. The Congress leader also challenged the mnisteer for a public debate on KIIFB.
Left joins chorus
The ruling Left also hit out at the Congress and the BJP and claimed the KIIFB controversy was a concerted plan to hamper the developmental prospects of Kerala.
"The various central agencies, including the ED, the CBI, the NIA, the Customs and finally the CAG are also trying to destroy the developmental projects of the state.
Instead of probing the gold smuggling matter, the agencies are hindering the projects of Kerala," the CPI(M) State Secretariat said in a statement.
The CPI(M) alleged it was the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, led by the BJP and the RSS, that claims that the loans taken by KIIFB from abroad "is unconstitutional and they are aided by theKerala Pradesh Congress Committee."
The party also claimed the opposition was spreading fake news that the state government had denied permission to the CAG to audit the KIIFB.
(With inputs from PTI)