At the tail end of his term, chief minister VS Achuthanandan’s crusader image has taken a beating. The Congress is demanding a vigilance inquiry into allegations that he allegedly helped a relative receive 2.33 acres of land for free in the northern Kasaragod district.
The CM’s office said it would comment on the issue only after the next cabinet meeting, which is due in two days.
Documents with the state’s land revenue commissioner, show his office took a keen interest in allotting the land — the current value of which is around Rs 10 crore — to his nephew, ex-serviceman TK Soman.
The papers also show the allotment was done overruling the objections of the land revenue commissioner and the collector of Kasaragod, who had opposed the “illegal transfer”.
“It is a serious issue, many such cases will tumble out of his cupboard soon,” said Congress spokesman MM Hassan.
The state had a practice of allotting land to landless soldiers, and Soman, had applied for land in 1977, claiming he had no landed property.
In April 1977, the land was allotted to Soman. It was given for free, but he had to make pay for the trees on the plot. But he could not make the payment and the deal became void.
The file was re-submitted in June 2007 and received the urgent attention of the CM and K P Rajendran, revenue minister. The land was allotted in June 2010, with a rider — it could not be sold for 25 years. But this April, even this condition was waived. The issue came to light when Soman tried to sell it.
The revenue minister said he has already asked for the file. “I will comment only after examining it,” he said. Soman was not available for comments.