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Cong demands judicial or CBI probe into lottery 'scam'

Congress in Kerala today demanded either a judicial probe or CBI investigation into the alleged lottery scam.

india Updated: Oct 20, 2010 14:44 IST

Congress in Kerala on Wednesday demanded either a judicial probe or CBI investigation into the alleged lottery scam.

"The lottery scam during the four-and-half year rule of the LDF Government needs to be investigated throroughly and there is need for more regulations," Kerala PCC President Ramesh Chennithala told a meet-the-press programme organised by the Ernakulam Press club Kochi.

The Congress has accused the LDF government of helping promoters of other state lotteries who were allegedly siphoning of huge amounts and evading tax. However, the state government has maintained that it was up to the central government to curtail other state lotteries.

Alleging that the CPI(M) Politbureau was also involved in the scam, Chennithala said Chief Minister V S Achutanandan was forced to retract his stand on the lottery issue, following pressure from it.

The CPI(M) politbureau had so far remained silent on the lottery issue which depeens the mystery behind it, he said adding the main culprit was the Marxist party. 'Whatever the LDF does, it is with the connviance of the party and the CPI(M)'s involvment should also be investigated', he said.

On state Finance Minsiter Thomas Issac's statement that CBI probe was needed in the lottery issue, Chennithala wanted to know if he would make a recommendation in this regard during the cabinet meeting and will the state government seek a CBI probe into the issue.

Chennithala said the Congress high command had taken stern action against AICC spokesperson Abishekh Singhvi for appearing for a lottery agent in Kerala High Court, but that was not the case with regard to the politbureau, he said.

On state Home minister, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's statement that law and order situation was good in the state, Chennithala said it was not so as the crime rate had gone up. The high court had itself stated that there was nexus between "quotation gangs" and police, he said.

The LDF government had allocated only 22.5 per cent of the total budget to local bodies for taking up various development projects, while the previous UDF government had set apart 28.7 per cent, he said. Due to this, several development projects had been affecte, he claimed.

To another qeustion, he said the Congress-led UDF had no tie up or links with communal organsiations and it was the LDF which had links with PDP, BJP and Jamait-e-Islami.

Due consideration had been given to people who had moved away from LDF and come to the UDF, he said adding the UDF was fighting this month's civic polls unitedly. There were very few rebels and action would be taken against them, he said.

Asked if K Muralidharan, who was expelled from the party, will be taken back into Congress, Chennithala said 'wait and watch'. Muralidharan was campagining for the UDF candidates in the civic polls and that was welcome.

First Published: Oct 20, 2010 14:42 IST