Accused says he did not bribe Chennithala
The Vigilance case against Kerala Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala took a new turn on Thursday after the chit fund owner, who allegedly bribed the PCC chief, denied the allegation saying he was pressured into making statements to implicate Chennithala.
But even before Himalaya Chit Fund owner, Sajith, ended his press conference the police raided his house near Kochi and took him into custody. The first accused in a double-murder case Sajith was currently on bail.
“I never gave money to Chennithala. I have seen him only on television. In the last couple of days I got phone calls from many political leaders advising me to speak against Chennithala,” he said just before his arrest. The police said he was arrested in a cheating case, which is pending since 2005.
Interestingly, the vigilance department filed a case against the PCC chief two days back citing the complaint of former counsel of the Himalaya group, V A Hakkim, that he had received a bribe of Rs 10 crore from the Himalaya group to arrange a grant from the Central government.
After Sajith was taken away, his younger brother Rejith talked to newspersons alleging that the group had given enough money to the CPM.
“I personally handed over money to K S Manoj MP (CPM Alapuzha MP) in presence of Sebastian Paul MP at the latter’s residence at No 20, Rajendara Prasad Road on March 20. 'Desabhimani' resident editor P Rajiv introduced both to me,” Rejith said adding he would reveal more in the coming days.
However, both MPs have denied this. “Many persons from our constituencies used to stay in our MP flats. But I don’t exactly remember the name of Rejith,” K S Manoj MP explained.
Himalaya group proprietors are standing trial for the murder of rival businessman in what is known as the ‘Kanichukulangara murder’ case.
A lorry rammed the van, killing the business rival and sister on July 20, 2005 on the national high way near Alapuzha.
The latest revelations are turning a big embarrassment for the ruling CPM.