Suresh blasts Rajendran, CPM’s Munnar report

via Pioneer News Service | Kochi published on December 7, 2008

Less than a day after Chief Minister VS Achuthnandan’s private secretary S Rajendran alleged in the CPI(M) State committee that the Chief Minister was in the trap of a coterie outside the CPI(M), chief of this so-called clique, K Suresh Kumar unleashed a scathing attack against Rajendran and those behind him.

Accusing Rajendran of following priorities different from those of the Chief Minister even when acting as his private secretary, Suresh Kumar said Rajendran and other men at Achuthanandan’s office had consistently failed to give him administrative support. He even charged Rajendran with hiding the vital files regarding the Smart City Kochi project and the Kiliroor sex scandal from the Chief Minister ‘deliberately or due to inefficiency and lack of experience’.

Agreeing to the CPI(M) allegation that the Chief Minister used to discuss matters with him, even now, Suresh Kumar said Achuthanandan could have been forced to approach people like him because he had no support system in his office. The Chief Minister’s office had shown this total disregard for vital official matters right from the Smart City issue to the Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan controversy.

Asked about the allegation of the Vaikom Viswan committee that Munnar anti-encroachment operations were an instrument to gain media attention, the IAS official said that the decision for the mission was taken by the State Cabinet with the full support of the CPI(M). “It was a universally praised operation. Even the party, including its national leadership, had praised it. When they now say that it was a mistake, why did the Cabinet take such a decision in the first place?” he asked.

About the allegation that Suresh Kumar had acted against small and poor encroachers, he said not even a single such holder had been evicted during the operation under him. “I challenge you to show me even a single holder who had taken five cents or ten cents to put up a hut, who was served notice when I headed the operation,” he said.

“But I had gone to Munnar with a clear definition of who a small holder was. As far as I was concerned, a man who encroached five or ten cents — or even 35 cents — for putting up a hut or for small-time farming was a small holder. But a holder of five cents of land with a four-storey building in it, which was being used as a commercial establishment, was indeed a large-scale encroacher,” he said in oblique reference to the party offices of CPI(M) and CPI in Munnar.

Suresh Kumar rejected the allegations made in the report of the Vaikom Viswan committee that he had accepted money from large-scale encroachers for sabotaging Mission Munnar operations. He said he did not want to speak about the intentions and political objectives behind such allegations.

“Several Santiago Martins (Santiago Martin had given Rs 2 crore to Desabhimani, the CPI(M) organ, which had created a political storm in Kerala) had been after me with several crores of rupees when I was Director, Kerala State Lotteries. Those who know me know very well that bribes can’t bend me. I am ready to face any investigation on this charge,” he said.

Suresh Kumar, who had earlier worked as additional secretary to the Chief Minister, said he had seen the files on several important matters like the Smart City project and the Kiliroor sex scandal case gathering dust lying on the table of Achuthanandan’s private secretary Rajendran.

“When the Chief Minister wanted to send a letter proposing high-level CBI probe into the Kiliroor scandal, I had to prepare it all by myself as the file was not there. And when the details of the Kiliroor case was demanded by someone as per the Right to Information Act, the file, which I had seen on Rajendran’s table, was not there in the Chief Minister’s office,” Suresh Kumar said.

Similarly, Suresh Kumar said, the Government had to go to the first round of negotiations with Tecom, the Dubai-based promoters of the Smart City project, without the file on it, which had been kept by none other than Rajendran. “After that when the Chief Minister decided to send a draft agreement to the Dubai company, this also had to be done without the support of the file,” he said.

In the case of the Major Sandeep row, Suresh Kumar said that several of his journalist friends had complained that the personal staff of the Chief Minister did not even grant access to them to Achuthanandan when they wanted to get a clear explanation from him. According to Suresh Kumar, this ‘blockade’ worsened the situation for Achuthanandan.

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