UDF wants VS to quit as Opposition leader

Kerala’s ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) has upped the pressure on their demand for the resignation of Opposition leader in Kerala Assembly V S Achuthanandan following an FIR being registed against him in a land allotment case by the State Vigilance Department .

The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau of the Kerala police on Friday had filed an FIR against CPM leader Achuthanandan for illegally allotting 2.33 acres of land to his relative and former Army personnel T K Soman in 2010, when he was the chief minister.

 The UDF liaison committee convener P P Thankachan said the vigilance case was registered after six months of preliminary investigation on the basis of clear evidence and the statements of officials who allotted land. As a politician known for demanding probity from others Achuthanandan should give an example by resigning as Opposition leader, Tankachan said.

 In a scathing attack against Achuthanandan on Saturday, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President Ramesh Chennithala said there is proof that Sheela Thomas, former principal secretary to the chief minister had written a note to revenue officials pointing out that Achuthanandan who was the then chief minister was interested in making the allotment.

It was because of the pressure from the then chief minister Achuthanandan that the former Kasaragod district collector allotted the land, said Chennithala. He said there are no records to show that Soman had been allotted land in 1977 and as he could not claim the land then, it had been re-allotted. Records have been concocted to make the claim, added Chennithala.

The KPCC president added that Soman is now in possession of the land and statements that allotment had been revoked earlier are false. Only the permission given to the beneficiary to sell the property had been withdrawn, he said.

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