ED launches probe against Kerala Oppn leader over housing scheme

Satheesan is accused of violating FCRA norms in accepting foreign donations to build houses of 2018 flood victims

ERNAKULAM | Updated: 01 July, 2023 11:22 am IST
Kerala Opposition leader VD Satheesan (file photo)

ERNAKULAM: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has initiated an investigation against VD Satheesan, senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition (LOP), regarding the ‘Punarjani’ housing scheme in his home constituency of Paravur in Ernakulam.

Satheesan is facing allegations of violating the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) by allegedly soliciting funds from abroad for the construction of houses for flood victims. This ED investigation follows the recent commencement of a probe by the state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) into the matter.

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The complaint against Satheesanwas filed by the Kathikudam Action Council, Chalakudy. He is accused of flouting FCRA regulations during a housing project initiated after the devastating floods in 2018, aimed at providing homes for those who lost their houses in the natural disaster.

Responding to the allegations, Satheesan previously stated that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had resurrected old accusations against him in retaliation for his accusation that illegal funds were being raised for the Loka Kerala Sabha meeting in the United States, allegedly with the knowledge of the chief minister.

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“The vigilance probe launched against the leader of opposition while the chief minister himself is under scrutiny will only serve to expose the CM to the public. This move demonstrates the vindictiveness and intolerance of the Chief Minister,” Satheeshan said.

In the midst of the escalating tensions between the CPI(M) and Congress leaders, the political landscape in Kerala continues to be marred by allegations and counter-allegations of corruption. The latest episode involves Kerala Congress chief K Sudhakaran, who has become the focus of CPI(M) leaders in a cheating case involving a fraudulent antique dealer named Monson Mavunkal.

Sudhakaran was recently apprehended by the vigilance team but was subsequently released on bail, intensifying the ongoing feud between the two parties.

Adding to the turmoil, G Shakthidharan, a former journalist associated with the CPI(M)’s mouthpiece ‘Deshabhimani’, has come forward with a scathing and enigmatic accusation against an incumbent CPI(M) minister. Shakthidharan, who was expelled from the CPI(M) two years ago, has claimed that prominent individuals had generously gifted a significant sum of Rs 2 crores to this CPI(M) leader. He intriguingly revealed that he had even assisted in counting the entire amount on one occasion.

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