Congress demands CPI (M)'s response on Central probe against Veena Vijayan's IT firm

The Congress party on Saturday demanded an explanation from Kerala's ruling CPI(M) leadership and the state Industries Department after the Centre reportedly ordered a probe into complaints of violations by an IT company run by CM P Vijayan's daughter Veena.
Veena Vijayan and Kerala CM P Vijayan
Veena Vijayan and Kerala CM P Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram | The Congress party on Saturday demanded an explanation from Kerala's ruling CPI(M) leadership and the state Industries Department after the Centre reportedly ordered a probe into complaints of violations by an IT company run by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's daughter Veena.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs had ordered the investigation into the complaints of financial transactions between a private minerals company and Veena's IT firm, which had triggered a huge political controversy in the southern state recently.

Officials confirmed that a joint director at the Office of the Director General of Corporate Affairs has ordered the probe. The office comes under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

The Joint Director Md Shakeel did not respond to messages and calls.

Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan, who has been raising charges against CM Vijayan and his daughter on the issue for some time, on Saturday said it was the CPI (M) state secretariat which had issued a press statement defending Veena earlier when he had raised the allegations against her IT company.

"In the press statement, they officially defended Veena saying it was a transparent dealing between two companies and there was nothing dubious in their transactions.

So, I would like to know the reaction of the CPI (M) state secretariat on the matter in the present context," Kuzhalnadan said.

The Congress legislator also sought to know whether the Public Works Department Minister and Veena's husband P A Mohammed Riyas viewed the Centre's probe as a natural procedure.

He said as per his knowledge, besides Veena's IT firm, a reply was sought by the Centre from the Kochi-based private minerals company and the state-run Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Limited (KSIDCL) also.

"By examining things so far, what I have understood is that a notice was served to all these three under Section 206 of the Companies Act, 2013. The present probe is ordered as the replies furnished by them were not satisfactory," he said.

He further said state Industries Minister P Rajeev has the moral responsibility to explain to the public, under what circumstance the state-run KSIDC under his department was served notice by the Centre in the issue.

A controversy erupted in Kerala recently over some financial transactions between the Kochi-based private minerals company and CM Vijayan's daughter Veena and her IT firm.

Evidence also cropped up that purportedly showed the company had dealings with top leaders of both the ruling CPI(M) as well as the opposition Congress-led UDF.

The issue came to the fore after a Malayalam daily reported that Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd paid Rs 1.72 crore to the CM's daughter between 2017 and 2020.

The news report, citing the recent ruling of an Interim Board for Settlement, said the Kochi-based company previously had an agreement with Veena's IT firm for consultancy and software support services.

Despite the fact that no service was rendered by her firm, the amount was paid on a monthly basis "due to her relationship with a prominent person", the report had claimed, citing the deposition of the minerals company authorities before the Income Tax Department.

However, Vijayan had rubbished the charges and said the allegations were made to tarnish his image and defame him. Kuzhalnadan, in October last, had lodged a complaint with the state Vigilance Director seeking a probe into a corruption allegation against the IT company owned by Veena.

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