Blatant Liar Elamaram Kareem Exposed

published on February 3, 2008

Embarrassment for Elamaram

Pioneer News Service | Thiruvananthapuram

Within hours of the statement by Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem which claimed that the meeting on June 6, 2007 at his chamber had not taken any decision to remove the hurdle posed by the Revenue Department for the Pokku-Varavu (completion of legalisation of land transaction) of the Kalamassery land bought by Mumbai-based Blue Star Realtors from HMT, it was revealed that the Minister was entirely wrong. The new revelations through a television channel claimed that the same meeting had taken the decision to remove the hurdles in the Pokku-Varavu.

Producing a copy of the invitation letter for the meeting, the channel said that the main- and perhaps the only significant – decision taken by the meeting was to remove the hurdles for Pokku-Varavu of the HMT-Blue Star land transaction though this was not on the declared agenda of the meeting. This expose came within hours of Kareem’s statement to another channel that the meeting on that date was informal and that no decision on Pokku-Varavu had been taken at that meeting.

As per the invitation letter, the meeting was convened at the chamber of the Industries Minister to discuss the IT project proposal of HDIL, an arm of Blue Star Realtors, but the Government’s IT officials had not participated in it. At the same time, there is no justification why representatives of HMT and leaders of the trade unions in the company were invited to the meeting which was convened to discuss the HDIL IT project.

The participation of Revenue Minister KP Rajendran at the meeting towards its end also remained a mystery, the channel reported. The items on the agenda were discussions on the HDIL project and its job-generating capacity but the only significant decision of the meet was to clear the hurdles in Pokku-Varavu, which was not on the agenda.

Representatives of the Mumai-based company had participated in the meeting, but they were called in at the middle of the meeting. It is up to the Industries Department to explain why representatives of HMT and trade unions at the company had participated in the meeting convened to discuss the Blue Star IT project, which anyway allegedly did not happen. Kareem had said that the meeting was informal (though the invitation letter is proof of its formality) and was convened to safeguard the interest of the HMT workers when the agenda of the meeting had no relation with HMT.

With this the mystery surrounding the HMT-HDIL land deal deepened and only the Industries Minister or the Industries Department could give a feasible explanation, say critics. From the very beginning, observers said, Kareem had been contradicting himself with statements about the Rs 91-crore deal for the 70-acre land that HMT sold to Blue Star while the public sector unit allegedly had no right to do so as the land was given to it by the Kerala Government purely for industrial purposes.

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