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LDF leaves it to Kerala Congress(J)

Special Correspondent

Recommends judicial probe into land deal of Minister’s family members

Photo: S. Mahinsha

Tough times: Kerala Congress(J) leaders P.J.Joseph and P.C.Thomas arriving for an LDF meet in the capital on Thursday. —

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Public Works Minister T.U. Kuruvilla has got a temporary reprieve with the State committee of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) skirting the question whether he shall continue in the Cabinet in the wake of allegations relating to a land deal allegedly involving him and his family members.

The front panel asked the Government to hold a judicial inquiry into the land deal and left to the Kerala Congress (Joseph) leadership the decision whether the Minister should remain in office when the inquiry is on. The KC(J) leaders will meet at Thodupuzha on September 2 to discuss the issue.

The Assembly is meeting from September 4 for legislative business and the KC(J) leadership will have to take a decision on the matter before that. The impropriety of Mr. Kuruvilla remaining in office when a judiciary inquiry is on against him has already become a talking point in political circles. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and leaders of the CPI(M) and the RSP were insistent that Mr. Kuruvilla should not be allowed to remain in office in the light of the allegations.

However, the rest of the LDF panel felt that it would be imprudent to initiate action against him without a formal inquiry to see whether he was really guilty of the charges that had been raised against him. The LDF decision was taken as a face-saving formula acceptable to all sides.

George shown the door

Although things have not fully gone in its favour, the KC(J) leadership has another reason to feel gratified.

The front leadership has formally shown the door to Kerala Congress (Secular) leader P.C. George, MLA, a vocal critic of the KC(J) and a campaigner against Mr. Kuruvilla, by declaring that he no longer represents the LDF. LDF convener Vaikom Viswan said the committee’s decision was that the Government should try to get the services of a sitting judge of the High Court to probe the allegations. The front also wanted the report of the inquiry within three months, he said.

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