Kollam: The Left Democratic Front government might be touting Kerala as an industry-friendly state, but the ground reality is different as exemplified by an audio clip released by a US-based Malayali investor promoting a convention centre coming up at Chavara in Kollam district.
In the viral audio clip a local CPM functionary, Biju, could be heard threatening the businessman Shahi Vijayan that a party flag would be hoisted as a mark of protest on the plot where the Rs 10-crore project is planned.
Shahi, who belongs to 'Maya Vilasam' house at Mynagappally near Karunagappally, is engaged in welding work in America for the last 10 years. His wife Shiny has now filed a complaint in this regard to the Kerala chief minister and the industry minister against the party leader.
Biju is the Mukundapuram branch secretary of the CPM. An agriculture officer at Thevalakkara has also been blamed for refusing land conversion, i.e., declaring a farm land as a commercial one.
Shahi and Shiny, who is working in a daycare centre, and their children are now settled in Houston in America. With all their savings and bank loan, they are building a convention centre on a 75-cent-plot at Mukham Mood Junction at Chavara by spending around Rs 10 crore.
The branch secretary had called up Shahi's nephew and said that Shahi did not give him a contribution for the Sreekumar Martyr's Memorial built by the CPM. The local party boss alleged that Shahi had teased him every time he asked for the money. He then threatened that he would come along with the Village and Agriculture Department officials, hoist the party flag at the site and block the ongoing work.
Biju also complained over phone that Shahi had not given a contribution of Rs 15,000 for the temple in which the former is an office-bearer.
After the voice clip of the phone call went viral, Biju again called up the same person and clarified that he did not ask for any contribution. He said his complaint was over the illegal reclamation of 26 cents of paddy field.
It might be recalled that NRI businessman Sajan Parayil had committed suicide in 2019 owing to the mental agony he had suffered after he was denied licence for his convention centre at Anthoor in Kannur. CPM central committee member and Local Administration Minister M V Govindan's wife P K Shyamala, who was then the Anthoor Municipality Chairperson, was criticised within the CPM for her alleged role in the incident.