An audio clip, said to be of tainted businesswoman Saritha S Nair, has emerged, putting the ruling CPM in Kerala in trouble. In the telephonic conversation, purportedly between Saritha and a youth named S S Arun, a female voice fully resembling that of Saritha is heard of admitting that she had the support of the ruling party in running a job fraud.
Arun, a native of Neyyatinkara, is one of the youths who have accused Saritha of fleecing Rs 14 lakh from them promising jobs in the state-run Kerala State Beverages Corporation and the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. Arun has confirmed that the male voice in the clip is of him. He also claims that he has over 300 audio clips of the conversations with Saritha.
In the audio clip, the woman say the CPM has asked her to make money for her "services rendered to that party".
"They (CPM ) know me and are slightly scared of me. I am making use of it also," the woman tells Arun. She is allegedly heard claiming that the money collected from job aspirants is shared between the party and officials who process documents for the jobs.
Why should CPM fear Saritha?
Saritha, if the voice clip is authentic, was apparently referring to the help she had offered to the CPM-led Left front during the run-up to the 2016 assembly polls. The allegations she had raised against a number of leaders of the then ruling front UDF was the biggest campaign issue then.
Arun has confirmed that he had got in touch with Saritha and paid money after she promised him a government job. He told the media that there were 317 telephone calls between them and after her call, he found out that the voice of the woman on the audio clip -- who claimed to be an employee at the state Secretariat -- sounded like Saritha's. Later, he said, he asked her if she was Saritha and she replied in the affirmative.
Arun alleged that the promised job never came his way and he had filed a police complaint but no action has been taken so far.
Voice clip fake: Saritha
Saritha has said that the audio clip doing the rounds is "fake" and hence should be subjected to forensic examination. Reacting to Saritha's challenge, Arun said he also wanted the voice clips to be subjected to forensic examination. Arun said Saritha has claimed that she facilitated jobs for over 100 people in four years. TV channels had recently aired another audio clip in which Saritha allegedly claims that she gave jobs to four people in the government's Arogya Keralam project.
Even as Saritha maintained that she had no clue who Arun was and that the voice was also not hers, the CPM continued to maintain a stoic silence.
Reacting to the controversy, Congress Lok Sabha member K Muraleedharan said it was indeed surprising that the CPM was mum on the issue. "No action is forthcoming and this shows the double standards of the ruling party," he claimed.
The job fraud case
The Neyyattinkara police received a complaint on the fake job racket on
November 6 last year. The racket was allegedly operational from December 2018.
T Ratheesh, a leader of the CPI, the second biggest partner of the ruling Left front, is the first accused in the fake job racket case. Saritha Nair is the second accused and former independent candidate in the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat Shaju Paliode, the third accused. The police have charged the accused with non-bailable offences like conspiracy, forgery, and fraud.
The police had learnt that Ratheesh and Shaju roped in susceptible youngsters and collected money.