PwC director linked to Veena Vijayan's firm: Congress MLA

Jaik Balakumar
Screenshot showing Jaik Balakumar's name and details on Exlogic Solutions website. Photo shared by Muvattupuzha MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan

First time Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan is on a mission to make Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan eat his words. On Wednesday, he produced digital evidence to prove that what he said in the Assembly about Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's daughter was not a lie.

On June 28, during the discussion on the gold smuggling scandal in the Assembly, an angry chief minister had termed Kuzhalnadan's remarks against Veena Vijayan a “glaring lie”.

Kuzhalnadan's charge was that before the appointment of Swapna Suresh in the IT Department was questioned, the website of Veena's company Exalogic had described one of the directors of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Jaik Balakumar, as her mentor. He said that after the controversy erupted, the website of Exalogic went down in May 2020. When the website came back by the end of June, Kuzhalnadan said the reference to Jaik had vanished.

Clearly, Kuzhalnadan was trying to link Swapna Suresh's appointment to the IT Department through the PwC to the chief minister's family. By pointing out Veena's PwC connection, he was in effect saying that a PwC top honcho's closeness with the chief minister's daughter had led to the global brand's allegedly undue influence over the top leadership of the LDF government.

It was towards the end of his 50-minute speech that the chief minister responded to this specific charge. He prefaced his attack on Kuzhalnadan saying that many had tried to spread falsehoods during the debate. “One of them is Mathew Kuzhalnadan. He is under the impression that he can do anything. For that he will have to find somebody else. What did you think, that I would be badly rattled if you talk about my daughter? What you said was a glaring lie. My daughter has never said that such a person was her mentor,” the chief minister said.

When Kuzhalnadan got up and asked for a chance to speak, the chief minister shot back: “What is it that you want to say? Is it to repeat this nonsense?” Later that day, Kuzhalnadan told the media that he would produce proof of his statements the next day. As promised, armed with a laptop he convened a press conference at Indira Bhavan, the headquarters of the Congress, in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

Jaik Balakumar
Screenshot of Exlogic Solutions website showing Jaik Balakumar's name and photograph. Photo shared by Muvattupuzha MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan

He used a site called to mine dumped Google pages and dig up the Exalogic webpage featuring Jaik Balakumar. He said the website allowed users to pull out junked pages. He retrieved the Exalogic website that was in existence on May 20, 2020, the day it was supposedly made inaccessible.

In this retrieved page, Veena T is shown as the founder and below, under 'consultants', are three images. In the middle is Jaik Balakumar, one of the directors of PwC. Kuzhalnadan placed the cursor on Jaik's image to read the description. “Jaik Balakumar, based in Chicago is the director of technology and strategies at one of the world's largest corporates. Jaik's involvement at Exalogic is at a very personal level, where he mentors and guides the founders with his incredible knowledge of various aspects of the industry,” it read.

Kuzhalnadan said the company's Articles of Association stated that Exalogic is a single director company. “It has only one director and one owner. And her mother, Kamala Vijayan, has been listed as the nominee,” Kuzhalnadan said. “This will make it clear that the founder Jaik was mentoring and guiding was no one else but Veena,” he added.

Mathew Kuzhalnadan
Muvattupuzha MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan. Photo: MMTV Screengrab

The Congress leader said that when the website was restored by the end of June, Jaik was missing. “Why was it removed,” he asked. “If the chief minister feels that what I have said is nonsense, I challenge him to register a case against the company ( for writing such outrageous things on his daughter's website,” he added.

What about the forgotten bag

Kuzhalnadan also repeated the other question that he had raised during the gold smuggling debate on June 28. “The chief minister should answer whether he had received any baggage through the diplomatic route when he was in the UAE,” he said.

Veena Vijayan, Jaik Balakumar
Jaik Balakumar and Veena Vijayan. Photo widely circulated on social media

The chief minister in a written reply to the Assembly had said that the he had not forgotten any bag during his trip to the UAE in 2016. However, his then principal secretary M Sivasankar, while being interrogated by the Customs, had said that the Chief Minister's Office had got in touch with Swapna Suresh to urgently transport a bag through the diplomatic route to the chief minister in the UAE.

Sivasankar said that the bag contained mementoes to be presented to foreign dignitaries but Swapna Suresh, in her 164(5) statement made before the magistrate, had alleged that the bag contained foreign currency.

Kuzhalnadan wanted to know why the chief minister had used diplomatic immunity when there were other means to transport a bag.

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