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Kerala BJP leader took Rs 5.60 crore to get MCI nod for college: Reports

Some BJP leaders accepted money for another medical college hospital in Palakkad district. Party general secretary MT Ramesh’s name allegedly cropped up but he has denied the allegations.

india Updated: Jul 20, 2017 12:39 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala BJP,Kickback,Bribe
The BJP is silent on the bribery charge that the rivals plan to take up in Parliament as well.(AP File Photo)

A BJP probe panel has found that a Kerala party leader accepted Rs 5.60 crore from a businessman on the promise of getting the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) nod for a college, local media reports have said.

The BJP has denied that such a report, which was allegedly leaked to the media by a party faction, exists. The opposition has demanded a CBI probe, questioning the Modi government’s claim of corruption-free government.

“The BJP’s tall claims stand exposed now. We want a CBI inquiry into the kickbacks,” Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said.

The internal report should have first come up before the party leadership, BJP’s Kerala general secretary Sobha Surendran on Thursday said.

“Most of our leaders are not aware of such a report. We have learned about this from media only,” she said. The core committee group of the party would inquire how such a report originated and was leaked to press, she said.

BJP cooperative cell convener RS Vinod admitted accepting the money for granting medical college status to the SR Hospital in Varkala, media reports quoted the probe panel as saying.

Vinod allegedly gave the money to a middleman in Delhi through hawala dealers.

State BJP chief Kummanam Rajasekharan had set up a two-member probe panel after R Shaji, chairman of SR Educational and Charitable Trust, alleged he paid Rs 5.60 crore to party functionaries to get the MCI nod for a medical college in Varkala in south Kerala, the reports said.

The MCI is the regulator for medical and dental education in India.

“It is a serious charge. There is a mafia working behind the MCI and to get over the scourge Centre has appointed the Lodha commission. Still such bad precedents are happening and the party has to look into seriously,” Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi, the state’s second largest newspaper, said.

Shaji went public in May after he didn’t get the MCI permission. He also sent a copy of his complaint to BJP president Amit Shah, who asked Rajasekharan to order a probe, party sources said.

The probe panel also found that some party leaders accepted money for another medical college hospital in Palakkad district. Party general secretary MT Ramesh’s name allegedly cropped up but he has denied the allegations.

The Opposition Congress has sought a CBI inquiry into the alleged kickbacks and the ruling Communist Party of India MPs have decided to raise the issue in Parliament.

First Published: Jul 20, 2017 10:53 IST