Customs summons Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s spouse for interrogation over iPhone gifted by Unitac head

By Express News Service
KOCHI: The Customs has issued a summons to interrogate former CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s spouse Vinodini Balakrishnan for utilizing an iPhone bought by Unitac proprietor Santhosh Eapen. The division has directed Vinodini to seem for interrogation on March 10 on the Customs workplace in Kochi.

Customs officers instructed The New Indian Express that they served the discover to Vinodhini after a probe discovered that the iPhone with the particular IMEI quantity was utilized by a cell quantity taken within the tackle of Vinodhini. This specific iPhone was considered one of six cellphones which had been distributed by Eapen as a present for awarding him the Vadakancherry Life Mission mission.

In his assertion to the Customs, Eapen had already revealed that he gave a bribe for acquiring the Life Mission contract. The Customs discovered that he had distributed cellphones to the Chief Minister’s former principal secretary M Sivasankar and extra protocol officer Rajeevan other than the then performing UAE Consul General Rashid Khamis Al Sheimeili. The Customs is learnt to have recovered the SIM card of the telephone.

The iPhone concern has put senior CPM chief Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who had stepped down as state secretary of the celebration in November final yr, in a decent spot. His son Bineesh Kodiyeri is already in jail in Bengaluru in reference to a medicine case.

Former Kerala CM VS Achuthanandan takes Covid vaccine

By Express News Service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPM veteran and former chief minister VS Achuthanandan took the primary shot of Covid-19 vaccine. The 97-year-old chief took the primary dose from the Government General Hospital Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. VS has not been energetic within the election marketing campaign on account of his deteriorating well being. 

“He along with family members went to General Hospital at around 9.25 am and took the first shot. He took rest for about half-and hour and came back. His wife K Vasumathy had taken the vaccine earlier,” mentioned household sources. 

VS has been affected by outdated age-related diseases and is now on the home of his son VA Arun Kumar. Recently he stepped down as chairman of the State Administrative Reforms Commission. 

Earlier Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and ministers KK Shailaja, E Chandrasekharan and Ramachandran Kadannappally had taken the primary dose of Covid vaccine. The first part of the vaccination drive started throughout the nation on Monday. 

Memories of landslide nonetheless hang-out Kavalappara

Express News Service
Kavalappara will always remember August 8, 2019.At 7.30pm on the fateful day, an enormous landslide triggered by intense monsoon rain buried 59 residents alive, wiping out a small neighborhood dwelling beneath Muthappan hill at Kavalappara, part of Western Ghats within the Nilambur meeting constituency in Malappuram.It was raining when Express workforce reached Kavalappara then. The whole space had a muddy purple hue because the deep-red laterite soils that had caved in combined with the rain water and flooded each nook and nook of the valley together with the Chaliyaar river. 

Now, nearly one-and-a-half years later, the desolate patch of land is roofed in crops. After the landslide, the federal government, aided by socio-religious outfits, rehabilitated 148 households from the lethal valley and supplied all fundamental infrastructure. The authorities arrange colonies dotted with 600-sqft homes, twin street connectivity, energy and water connections. However, those that survived have but to maneuver on, emotionally.

“The new area has all the facilities. My wife and kids are happy here,” says Ok Krishnan. His eyes, nevertheless, mirror his grief of shedding his mates and family members within the catastrophe and transferring away from the place he as soon as known as residence. Though each colony resident has been rehabilitated, most nonetheless have a story of sorrow to relate – concerning the premature loss of life of their pricey ones, a detailed relative or a pal. “Perhaps, it will take some time to fully recover from the shock,” he says.

People who lived near the valley are additionally grief-stricken. Living alone in a thatched tile home located simply 10m away from floor zero, separated solely by a street, septuagenarian Narayani Nadakkal can not battle again tears as she narrates her ordeals after the landslide. Her husband died 4 years in the past and their solely daughter is married. She used to go to the homes, that at the moment are buried, to sleep earlier than catastrophe struck.

“Already, I am alone. My friends and neighbours who supported me are no more. The rest have been rehabilitated,” she says. She continues to remain in the identical home. The heap of mud seen from her window nonetheless hides 11 our bodies of her neighbours. The authorities may retrieve solely 48 our bodies out of the 59 who have been declared useless. The wind blowing down from the hill and the valley deliver again spine-chilling recollections. 

“I never believed in fairy tales. But the suffocating silence and the cold winds from the hill and valley often make me mad at nights. They could have rehabilitated me too as I am a lone elderly living in a thatched old house. I know I am not eligible for the rehabilitation technically as I am not a direct victim of the landslide and my thatched house is situated opposite to the victims’ houses. Now, I seek the support of people nearby and go to their houses at night to escape the haunting memories and loneliness,” she says. Shanavas, 49, who lives near Narayani’s home, says quickly after the landslide, the authorities supplied counselling for these dwelling close by. “However, it has not helped purge the tragic memories. Our children were afraid to go out at night until recently as bodies of 11 people are yet to be recovered,” he says.

While the calamity modified their life, nearly everybody within the area says the federal government and socio-religious outfits helped them deliver their life to the observe. Help poured in from throughout the state and out of doors and helped the victims discover the misplaced rhythm of their life in simply one-and-a-half years, they stated. 

While there have been complaints the help was supplied erratically, the rehabilitation was largely an enormous success and all individuals from totally different walks of life, reducing throughout political traces and non secular moorings, joined palms to assist a neighborhood in misery. The growth of different infrastructure, particularly street connectivity and its customary, nevertheless, will not be in tune with the event in different components of Nilambur. Pothukal panchayat, dominated by each the fronts final time following a break up verdict, noticed a transparent mandate for Left within the 2020 native physique elections. Kavalappara ward, gained by CPM in 2015, elected an impartial candidate in 2020.

Kerala elections: CPM rejigs workforce, six huge names out

By Express News Service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bid to deal with anti-incumbent sentiments, the CPM has included a set of children and newcomers in its checklist of candidates for the meeting polls. The social gathering state committee which met on Friday has give you a listing of 84 candidates, notably deciding to maintain away numerous seniors together with Finance Minister Thomas Isaac and Works Minister G Sudhakaran. The social gathering has additionally allotted 13 seats — together with Poonjar, Ranni and Kuttiyadi — to Jose Okay Mani’s Kerala Congress (M). The state secretariat will meet once more on Monday and Tuesday to finalise the checklist. 

Despite vociferous calls for to offer Isaac one other probability contemplating his public enchantment, the CPM resolved to implement the two-term norm strictly. As anticipated, ministers E P Jayarajan, A Okay Balan and C Raveendranath, along with senior chief P Jayarajan, won’t be within the fray. 

P Nandakumar will contest from Ponnani, the sitting seat of Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan.While the CPM had fielded 12 ladies within the final meeting elections, solely 10 ladies have discovered a spot within the checklist this time. In the earlier polls, the social gathering had contested from a complete of 92 seats, together with 4 independents.

As many as 23 sitting MLAs who had two consecutive phrases and two — Okay U Arunan of Irinjalakuda and P Okay Sasi of Shoranur — who accomplished one time period have been omitted. 

As of now, six secretariat members together with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, M V Govindan, T P Ramakrishnan, M M Mani, Okay N Balagopal and P Rajeev will contest. Former speaker Okay Radhakrishnan can be being thought-about. No last resolution has been taken on P Unni of Ottapalam but.Notably, spouses of senior leaders A Vijayaraghavan and A Okay Balan have figured within the checklist.

Vijayaraghavan’s spouse R Bindu is a former Thrissur Mayor and a central committee member of Janadhipathya Mahila Association. She will contest from Irinjalakuda. A Okay Balan’s spouse P Okay Jameela, who will contest from Tarur, is a former director of Health Services. No resolution was taken on Devikulam, Palakkad and Manjeshwar seats. The candidate for the Guruvayur seat will probably be selected Saturday.

Punched by Customs, Left to defend govt politically

By Express News Service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of the customs affidavit filed earlier than the High Court stating that Swapna Suresh had named Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan and three ministers within the greenback smuggling case, the Left entrance is all set to defend the federal government politically. The Left entrance will take out protest marches to customs workplaces within the state on Saturday. 

The customs affidavit simply exhibits that the BJP has misplaced its psychological steadiness with the realisation that the Left authorities will proceed in workplace, alleged the CPM. Those indulging in such third-rated actions shouldn’t neglect that that is Kerala, the occasion reiterated. The chief minister and the Left authorities maintain a particular place within the minds of individuals. This has provoked the BJP. The Union authorities is now able to resort to any means. Central businesses have grow to be mere marketing campaign instruments of these ruling on the Centre,” alleged the CPM secretariat.  

The function of the customs’ assertion because the elections close to is clear. This quantities to violation of guidelines and misuse of probe businesses. Baseless allegations raised by the BJP and Congress are being introduced as affidavits and statements earlier than the court docket by the CBI, Enforcement Directorate and customs, alleged the CPM secretariat.  

The Left entrance will take out protest marches to customs workplaces in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode on Saturday. The marches are being taken out in protest in opposition to the transfer to defame the chief minister and the Left authorities. LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan alleged that the customs has been maligning the Left authorities’s picture. The Customs has filed its affidavit earlier than the HC based mostly on assertion by an accused.

CM’S ROLE IN DOLLAR SMUGGLING SHOCKING, SAYS CHENNITHALA 

T’Puram : The Customs affidavit revealing the involvement of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan within the greenback smuggling case is stunning, mentioned Opposition chief Ramesh Chenithala. “The CM has no right to continue in office as sedition charges were levelled against him in the Customs affidavit submitted in the High Court,” he mentioned in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. It can be intriguing that why the enforcement company had been dragging its ft even after it acquired a vital assertion in opposition to the chief minister and different ministers two months in the past, he mentioned.  

This exhibits that there was a transparent understanding between the BJP and CPM. The enforcement businesses stalled the investigation regardless of they receiving a vital piece of knowledge linking the chief minister with the greenback smuggling case. As the tacit understanding between BJP and CPM has come out within the open, the chief minister is now attempting to tarnish the Congress occasion’s picture by saying that the Opposition chief is concerned in misery sale earlier than going to BJP.  But the CM  mustn’t neglect the truth that it was he who was actually engaged within the misery sale of Kerala forward of the elections,” Chennithala mentioned. 

Pinarayi ‘involvement’ in greenback smuggling case stunning, has no proper to remain in workplace: Congress

By Express News Service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Customs affidavit revealing the involvement of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan within the greenback smuggling case is stunning, stated Opposition chief Ramesh Chennithala. Speaking at a press meet in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, he stated the Chief Minister has no proper to proceed in workplace as sedition prices have been levelled towards him within the affidavit submitted within the High Court.

It can be intriguing why the enforcement company was dragging its toes even after it acquired an important assertion towards the Chief Minister and different ministers two months in the past, he puzzled. This reveals there was a transparent understanding between the BJP and the CPM.

The enforcement businesses have stalled the investigation after they acquired an important piece of data linking the Chief Minister with the greenback smuggling case. When the tacit understanding between the BJP and CPM got here out in public, the Chief Minister is now making an attempt to tarnish the picture of the Congress.

The Chief Minister mustn’t neglect the truth that he was engaged in a misery sale of Kerala forward of the elections. The deep sea fishing row and Sprinklr deal are testimony to his experience within the misery sale. He mustn’t neglect the cases of CPM MLAs standing in queues exterior the BJP workplaces in West Bengal and Tripura. Even in Thiruvananthapuram, two department committees en masse joined the BJP in Kovalam, he stated.

Day after Kerala CM candidate flip-flop, BJP and Sreedharan play down confusion

By Express News Service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after the flip-flop over projecting Metro Man E Sreedharan as Chief Ministerial candidate, the celebration and Sreedharan selected to keep away from the row.          Sreedharan informed reporters on Friday that he had not joined the BJP anticipating any posts in return and that his solely purpose was to serve the folks. He mentioned it was for the BJP nationwide management to determine the Chief Ministerial candidate. However, he would take up the accountability if the celebration asks him to take action, Sreedharan clarified.         BJP state president Ok Surendran blamed the media for misrepresenting his statements. He mentioned he had not formally declared Sreedharan because the Chief Ministerial candidate however solely echoed the needs of the folks of the state in addition to the celebration to see him assume the publish.

ALSO READ: Confusion, mockery as BJP makes U-turn on Sreedharan’s CM candidature        It is learnt that Surendran was pressured by the central management to make clear his stance a day later. Surendran’s earlier assertion, which was broadly interpreted as an official endorsement of Sreedharan as Chief Ministerial candidate, had not gone down properly with the BJP central management.         Union Minister V Muraleedharan, who initially supported Sreedharan as Chief Ministerial candidate on Thursday later modified his stance. Meanwhile there’s resentment from throughout the BJP over the Vijaya Yatra led by Surendran turning right into a discussion board for pointless controversies that embarrass the celebration         A couple of days in the past, an announcement by BJP nationwide government member Sobha Surendran throughout the Vijaya Yatra that the Muslim League may be part of the NDA if it sheds its communal id had triggered an argument. Surendran who initially hit out on the proposal later softened his stance. The controversy over the Muslim League had not solely taken away the main focus from the Yatra but in addition earned the displeasure of hardline supporters of the celebration.

Church ought to query political events, says Sathyadeepam editorial

By Express News Service
KOCHI: The newest editorial piece in Sathyadeepam, the weekly revealed by the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, states that the Church shouldn’t hesitate to query the political events within the backdrop of elections. “The Church should ask the state and central leaderships of the BJP why justice is getting delayed for Christians at Kandhamal. It should be asked why Fr Stan Swamy, who is innocent, continues to remain in prison,” the editorial says. 

Recently, BJP state president Okay Surendran and Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan visited Cardinal George Alencherry within the backdrop of upcoming meeting elections. The editorial criticises that even revolutionary events will not be keen to step out of politics primarily based on communal help though the idea doesn’t signify pluralistic democracy. It stated the totally different fronts are competing to provide one another the label of communalism. 

“While the Left and the United fronts are being mocked by their own past failures in appeasement politics, the NDA was ridiculing themselves by saying that they are the same towards everyone,” the editorial states. The Sathyadeepam piece additionally says the Church is lively in discussions to finalise candidates for various fronts though the management repeats the Church is above politics.

The editorial additional says the Church ought to combat in opposition to the eviction of 1000’s of individuals from their properties for tasks valued at tens of thousand of crores. “The Church should fight for reorganisation of distribution of welfare schemes for minorities based on population,” the editorial says.“The Church is interfering in electoral politics more than ever by speaking directly and by giving out recommendations. The indication is that there won’t be a pastoral letter about the political situation this year. Still, the Church should ask questions to Political Kerala,” the editorial says.

‘Political motive, ballot code violation’: KIIFB locks horns with ED; deputy MD refuses to point out up for interrogation

By Express News Service
KOCHI: The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) appears to be locking horns with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) with its Deputy Managing Director not turning up for interrogation on Thursday.

The ED had served a discover to Vikramjit Singh to seem for interrogation as a part of a probe into violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) by KIIFB by elevating the Masala bonds.

Even although Singh, an IPS officer, was requested to achieve the ED workplace at 10 am on Thursday, KIIFB wrote a letter to the nationwide company that its officers won’t be showing for any questioning. “We received an email from KIIFB stating that all details related to the investments and money transactions have been handed over when sought for the preliminary probe. The letter was from KIIFB CEO, KM Abraham. They have decided to proceed legally against the notice claiming it as a political move,” ED official stated.

However, ED stated there was no political motive behind the probe. The company has additionally requested KM Abraham to come back to the ED workplace for interrogation on Friday. A recent discover can be issued if he would not flip up on Friday. “The case was registered based on the finding of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) about KIIFB. If everything is transparent and legal, why are KIIFB officials not cooperating with the probe? We will wait a few days to see whether other persons who were given notice appear for interrogation. Later, fresh notices will be served,” an ED official stated.

‘Political Motive’

Both Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Finance Minister Thomas Isaac have come out towards ED for registering the case towards KIIFB which was shaped to seek out funds together with investments for the infrastructure improvement in Kerala. 

The Chief Minister wrote to the Election Commission of India claiming that the ED probe is a violation of the mannequin code of conduct. 

Isaac alleged that ED is appearing upon the route of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who had alleged at an election marketing campaign that the Kerala authorities had allotted a serious portion of the funds to the KIIFB. 

ED violating mannequin code of conduct by summoning KIIFB officers: Kerala CM Vijayan

By ANI
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan accused Enforcement Directorate (ED) of summoning Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) officers and mentioned it’s violating the Model Code of Conduct.

In a letter written to the Chief Election Commissioner, the Chief Minister mentioned that the ED summoned KIIFB officers as per the political pursuits of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Hence, it’s violating the Model Code of Conduct.

“The EC should take action against the investigating agency for violating the code of conduct,” the Chief Minister mentioned.

Nirmala Sitharaman’s comment on February 28 throughout a BJP Yatra is proof of the political use of investigative businesses, the letter learn.

Recently, Sitharaman accused the Pinarayi Vijayan-led authorities of giving all of the funds cash to KIIFB.

While Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac yesterday mentioned that there was no violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) in an alleged case of exterior borrowings of KIIFB by Masala Bonds.

“There is absolutely no violation of FEMA as we have received No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Reserve Bank of India (RBI),” mentioned Thomas Isaac whereas talking to ANI.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a case towards KIIFB for exterior borrowings by Masala Bonds with out the permission of the union authorities.

Yesterday, ED despatched a discover to KM Abraham, CEO of KIIFB and requested him to look earlier than its Kochi workplace on March 5. It additionally despatched a discover to Deputy Managing Director Vikramjit Singh and requested him to look earlier than it on March 4.

KIIFB was constituted by the state authorities as a company physique. In November 2020, it had initiated an investigation into the Masala bonds of the KIIFB, as per the sources.

Recently, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accused the Pinarayi Vijayan-led authorities of giving all of the funds cash to KIIFB.

LDF ballot marketing campaign banking solely on Pinarayi could also be of venture price taking

Express News Service
KOCHI: The LDF appears to have taken a giant gamble by placing Pinarayi Vijayan as its sole face in its election commercial marketing campaign titled ‘Urappanu LDF’. While business officers mentioned it was a threat price taking because the CM has been the face of this administration for the previous 5 years, however the flip aspect of the marketing campaign is that if the LDF loses, your entire blame should be borne by Pinarayi alone. 

An official at Maitri Advertising, which is the mind behind the Left Front’s commercial marketing campaign for the 2021 polls too, mentioned the catchline is a continuation of its profitable slogan of 2016 meeting polls. The Kochi-based ad-firm coined the profitable line ‘LDF Varum Ellam Shariyakum’ (LDF will come, will set the whole lot proper) within the 2016 polls. 

“If you look at the series of advertisement campaigns, you could find that this catchline is a continuation of the 2016 tagline. The campaign said the LDF will set right everything, and this time we are saying there is a surety in everything — surety in education, surety in health, surety in security, surety in shelter etc under the LDF,” mentioned the Maitri official. But, the posters and billboards within the final polls had the trio of V S Achuthanandan, Pinarayi Vijayan and the then get together secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. This time, the posters have just one chief, that of Pinarayi Vijayan. 

“We told the agency the work we have done in the last five years and based on it to coin a catchline,” mentioned a supply with the LDF. “The posters are the result of the briefing,” he mentioned. Joice C Jose, of Graphin Communications, who labored for the NDA/BJP marketing campaign within the 2016 meeting polls, mentioned it’s solely honest that LDF put the CM’s face in its election commercial campaigns. “The CM led from the front in difficult times starting with the floods and the fight against Covid-19,” he mentioned.  According to him, the opposite faces within the LDF — be it A Vijayaraghavan, or CPI’s Kanam Rajendran, or senior leaders like Thomas Isaac usually are not in style faces. “It’s all about Pinarayi Vijayan, and it’s justifiable that the election campaigns are focused on him,” mentioned Jose. 

While the LDF acquired an early begin to its marketing campaign, the UDF launched its marketing campaign on Wednesday with a catchline Naadu Nannakan UDF (UDF — to make the land prosper) whereas NDA/BJP is but to launch its commercial marketing campaign. It is a well known indisputable fact that Pinarayi Vijayan is but to steer the LDF to a significant win — both in meeting elections or Lok Sabha elections.

While the credit score for the 2016 meeting polls went to V S Achuthanandan, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections noticed LDF shedding its face after defeat in 19 out of the 20 seats. Though the LDF underneath Pinarayi has gained key meeting bypolls in between and 2020 native physique polls, it’s the upcoming meeting polls that would be the sternest take a look at for the 75-year-old Communist chief. And for now, it appears he’s assured of pulling it via, going by the advert campaigns.

Opposition stiff inside CPM, director Ranjith decides to remain away

Express News Service
KOZHIKODE: 24 hours after actor-director Ranjith expressed curiosity publicly to contest from the Kozhikode North meeting seat on a CPM ticket, stiff opposition from inside the get together has compelled him to withdraw from the race. A piece of district leaders have been towards his candidature sidelining sitting MLA and well-liked chief A Pradeep Kumar. Gauging the temper, Ranjith himself knowledgeable the get together management on Wednesday that he’s withdrawing. “Pradeep Kumar is the best man for Kozhikode North. He has more victory potential. I will campaign for him,” Ranjith mentioned.

While the CPM district secretariat meet held on the day didn’t point out the director’s title, the leaders opposing the transfer introduced their case within the presence of central committee member E P Jayarajan. Their argument is predicated on the higher winnability issue of Pradeep Kumar, particularly if KSU state president Okay M Abhijith and BJP state common secretary M T Ramesh come as rivals. But sources maintained that the disgruntled leaders felt the transfer to interchange Pradeep Kumar was deliberate, to keep away from his rise among the many rank and file if LDF retains energy. No determination was taken on the get together stage to hunt the willingness of Ranjith, who was approached by a central committee member with the help of a high district chief, sources mentioned. 

A state committee member has shot off a letter to the get together management towards contemplating Ranjith. “If Thomas Isaac and G Sudhakaran can be considered for another term and Raju Abraham for a sixth consecutive term, what’s the issue in considering Pradeep Kumar for a fourth time?” requested an opposing chief. 

The director’s title was not taken within the district secretariat assembly as a mere point out would invite the query, ‘who authorised approaching Ranjith?’. Under the circumstances, Pradeep Kumar is probably to contest once more in Kozhikode North after getting the state secretariat’s consent.

Another shock is the title of P Sathidevi in Koyilandy. Name of M Mehboob can also be doing the rounds for Koyilandy. Gireesh John and Linto Jose are within the checklist of potential candidates for Thiruvambady. Meanwhile, CPM district secretary P Mohanan informed TNIE that the get together has not determined any candidate in any seat. “The media is fixing candidates and the media itself is saying that there is issue over it. I have nothing to say about that,” he mentioned.

Orthodox bishops name on RSS chief Vaidya

By Express News Service
KOCHI: RSS nationwide joint basic secretary Manmohan Vaidya held secret talks with two bishops of the Orthodox faction in Kochi on Wednesday. The assembly assumes significance because it has occurred forward of the meeting polls.Vaidya had arrived in Kochi to take part in a cadre assembly. Geevarghese Mar Yulios and Yakoob Mar Irenaios, the bishops of Ahmedabad and Kochi, respectively, known as on Vaidya at Madhava Nivas, the RSS workplace.

Both the RSS and Orthodox management maintained that there was no political significance within the assembly and that it was a part of an ideological interplay.

“The Orthodox faction had contacted us for an appointment with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat when he visited Kerala on December 30. Since he had a busy schedule, the meeting did not take place but he had assured to meet the leaders soon. Meanwhile, our joint general secretary came to Kerala and the Orthodox leaders sought an appointment. It was just a courtesy call and was not preplanned,” mentioned RSS state basic secretary Gopalankutty.

Seat sharing in Left, UDF stumbles on Jose Ok Mani, PJ Joseph

Express News Service
KOCHI: UDF launches slogan, guarantees clear, good governance . CPM virtually finalises celebration candidates LDF govt harps on Central companies probes, describes them as transfer to scuttle state’s devpt . Orthodox Church bishops maintain secret talks with RSS nat’l chief .UDF retains talks mediated by non secular chief Sri M burning

Seat -Sharing talks are getting extended in each the UDF and the LDF. The motive: Two Kerala Congress (M) factions.Congress leaders have held talks with the P J Joseph faction which has caught to the demand of 12 seats for 3 consecutive days. The discussions that continued late into the night time, remained inconclusive even after the Joseph faction leaders expressed their willingness to vacate Poonjar or Changanassery seats. While the Congress transfer is to allocate eight or 9 seats to the faction, the seats in Kottayam district have now develop into the bone of rivalry.

The Congress desires Changanassery and Ettumanoor, which had been contested by an undivided KC (M) within the 2016 meeting polls. The subsequent part of talks can be held on Friday.”An agreement on seat sharing will be reached in two-three days,” mentioned Mons Joseph, MLA, chief of the Joseph faction, after Wednesday’s talks.The state of affairs will not be too totally different within the LDF.

For the talks came upon the Changanassery seat because the CPI and the Democratic Kerala Congress too — moreover the KC (M) Jose Ok Mani faction — staked claims to the seat. The CPI desires Changanassery as they’ve already handed over Kanjirappally to the KC(M). The Mani faction considers Changanassery its prestigious seat as senior chief C F Thomas represented it for greater than 25 years, although he has switched to the Joseph camp.

But final time, the Democratic Kerala Congress contested the seat and now they need celebration chief Ok C Joseph to be fielded right here. The CPM has already knowledgeable Jose that it can not allocate the celebration’s sitting seats of Ranni and Perambra to the KC(M). Tiruvalla, contested earlier by the KC(M), has been allotted to the JD (S) as it’s their sitting seat.

KC (M) leaders say they can’t hand over seats of their strongholds. “The talks were positive and we hope the party will get the number of seats it deserves. The second-phase discussion will be fruitful,” mentioned Jose Ok Mani, the KC(M) chairman. While the KC (M) is demanding 15 seats, the LDF has agreed to allot them 10 seats.

CHANGANASSERY A WORRY

Three events stake declare to the Changanassery seat
CPI has expressed its willingness to change the Kanjirappally seat with KC(M) Jose Ok Mani, however desires Changanassery in return
The KC(M) can also be eager to have its sitting seat Changanassery Of Poonjar, Kanjirappally
KC(J) reportedly asks Congress to decide on between Poonjar
 and Kanjirappally. But they’re agency that they won’t half with any of them
KCJ is adamant saying it had contested in in six seats in Kottayam 2016 meeting elections. “We can not agree if we’re given solely 4 seats,” mentioned Joy Abraham
Chennithala mentioned deal could be finalised within the subsequent two days

ED information case towards KIIFB, could query Thomas Isaac

By Express News Service
KOCHI: Two days after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, throughout her go to to Kerala, criticised the state price range allocation to the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), Enforcement Directorate (ED) that comes underneath the Centre on Tuesday registered a case towards the board for allegedly violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) guidelines.

At the reception assembly for BJP state president Okay Surendran’s Vijaya Yatra in Tripunithura on Sunday, Sitharaman known as the state’s price range a KIIFB price range. The transfer additionally comes a day after one other central company, CBI, knowledgeable the Supreme Court that Unitac Builders was a proxy firm shaped with the information of officers to obtain international funds for the state authorities’s LIFE Mission undertaking. 

According to ED sources, the company has intensified its probe into the funds obtained by KIIFB in violation of norms. State Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac should be questioned as a part of the probe, they mentioned.Notices have been despatched to KIIFB CEO Okay M Abraham and officers of Axis Bank — the banking companion of the enterprise — to look for interrogation subsequent week. 

“We had conducted a preliminary probe since the CAG came out with a report against KIIFB last year. We found that foreign funds were received without prior sanction of the Centre violating FEMA norms. Similarly, the masala bonds were raised without any permission,” an ED supply mentioned.

‘Questioning of Isaac inevitable’

According to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) official, questioning of Isaac is inevitable. “Isaac is very much involved in the entire Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) concept. We have to record his statement as part of the investigation. First, the details will be collected from the KIIFB CEO,” he mentioned.

The case is probed by ED Deputy Director Prasanth Kumar. Earlier, the CAG discovered that the KIIFB had raised D2,150 crore from the worldwide market with out the Central authorities’s consent. The CAG famous that KIIFB had overstepped its authorized bounds by issuing masala bonds to boost cash from international markets in violation of Article 293 (1) of the Constitution. The ED had additionally written to RBI concerning its concern concerning the operations of KIIFB.

Kerala elections: Young turks of God’s Own Country

By Express News Service
Over the years, Kerala has seen a number of kids taking over politics in a bid to serve the group and characterize the state’s youth. TNIE appears to be like at some younger MLAs who entered Kerala’s political scene from the tenth Assembly (1996).

tenth Assembly  (1996-2001)

P S Supal, 26, Punalur (CPI). 

Mons Joseph, 32, Kaduthuruthy (KC(J)).

Okay C Venugopal, 33, Alappuzha (Congress).

eleventh Assembly  

(2001- 2006)

Roshy Augustine, 32, Idukki (KC(M)).

twelfth Kerala Assembly 

(2006-2011) PC Vishnunath, 28, Chengannur (Congress).

thirteenth Assembly (2011-2016)

Hibi Eden,28, Ernakulam (Congress).

Shafi Parambil, 28, Palakkad (Congress).

R Rajesh, 30, Mavelikkara (CPM).

V T Balram, 33, Thrithala (Congress).

Anoop Jacob, 34, Piravom (KC(J)).

14th Assembly  (2016-2021)

Mohammed Muhsin, 30, Pattambi (CPI).

Okay S Sabarinadhan, 31, Aruvikkara (Congress).

Shafi Parambil, 33, Palakkad.

(Cong) M Swaraj, 37, Tripunithura (CPM).

Opposition chief Ramesh Chennithala holds the report of being the youngest Kerala minister.

He helmed the agricultural improvement dept from 1986 to 1987 at age 29. He was elected MLA from Haripad when he was 26 years outdated.

Rahul Gandhi can do nothing for Congress in Kerala: Smriti Irani

By Express News Service
KOTTAYAM: Union Minister Smriti Irani mentioned right here on Tuesday that Rahul Gandhi, who failed to steer his celebration in Gujarat and different elements of the nation, can do nothing to avoid wasting Congress in Kerala. 

She was inaugurating a public assembly organised as a part of the reception accorded to BJP state president Okay Surendran’s Vijaya Yatra.

Launching a scathing assault, Irani alleged that Rahul is a “gentleman who does politics of convenience”.

“Rahul Gandhi abandoned Amethi and ran to Kerala because, after 15 years, the people of Amethi decided to teach him a lesson. He is unable to criticise the LDF as the UDF and the LDF in Kerala are partners in crime. These partners in crime need to understand that the people of Kerala are awakened and they would say ‘no more’ to corruption and nepotism,” Irani mentioned, requesting the individuals to denounce and defeat this unholy, unseen partnership within the forthcoming election.

She additionally alleged that the politics of Rahul and the Congress relies on false guarantees.

“Today is an auspicious day for BJP as yet again in the local body elections in Gujarat, BJP has won a decisive victory and Congress has been uprooted. Congress had to face such a defeat that their Opposition leader and Congress state president had to resign in shame. The reason for their defeat is they tried to divide the people and tried to unleash a campaign of lies. Moreover, Congress has a defunct leadership, that the leadership can’t even lead its own organisation. How can such a leader lead the Congress in Kerala?” she requested.

Irani added that the BJP will do justice to the Sabarimala motion like the way in which the celebration stored its phrase on the Ram temple.BJP district president Noble Mathew presided over.

Former Union Minister Alphonse Kannanthanam and Kerala Congress chief P C Thomas, amongst others, spoke.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan receives 1st shot of COVID vaccine

By Express News Service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took the Covid-19 vaccine at Government Women and Children’s Hospital at Thycaud in Thiruvananthapuram, on Wednesday. 

He referred to as upon the folks to take vaccination with none hesitation. “We have eradicated diseases such as polio through vaccination. However, there are some people involved in spreading rumours about vaccination. Such misinformation does great harm to oneself and to the society,” the Chief Minister stated after receiving the vaccination.

He was accompanied by Health Minister KK Shailaja on the hospital.

The 75-year-old Pinarayi joined the checklist of Chief ministers of Bihar, Odisha and Goa to take the primary dose this week.

The public works minister G Sudhakaran additionally took the vaccine at General hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.  

Earlier Health Minister KK Shailaja, Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan, Ports minister Kadannapally Ramachandran acquired the primary dose on Tuesday. 

The vaccination for folks aged 60 and above and people within the age group of 45-59 with co-morbidities has began from Monday.

Release file on deep-sea fishing challenge, Chennithala tells Pinarayi, Mercykutty

By Express News Service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Coming down closely in opposition to the chief minister and fisheries minister, Opposition chief Ramesh Chennithala has challenged them to launch the file on the controversial deep-sea fishing challenge. He additionally demanded to know concerning the inordinate delay in cancelling the MoU signed between Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation and the US agency EMCC International India Private Ltd on the deep-sea fishing.

Chennithala was talking at Puthiyathura when RSP chief Shibu Baby John’s coastal yatra reached there.While reacting to Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma’s confession that she had seen the file pertaining to the controversial deal, Chennithala challenged her to launch the file earlier than public area.

He additionally knowledgeable that extra incriminating paperwork might be launched within the coming days on deep-sea fishing fiasco.“When Prime Minister Narendra Modi is selling the skies, Pinarayi is selling the seas. If the Pinarayi Government returns to power again, he will sell the state,” mentioned Chennithala.

Kerala polls: Ex-Congress MLA Gopinath rebels towards occasion’s youth wing chief in Palakkad

Express News Service
PALAKKAD: Former DCC president A V Gopinath has raised the banner of revolt towards his occasion and Youth Congress state president Shafi Parambil who’s almost definitely to contest from the Palakkad meeting constituency.

Gopinath is banking on the help from the LDF which had completed third within the constituency within the 2016 elections. 

Gopinath, who can be a former MLA, instructed TNIE that the Congress has been sidelining him for the previous a few years and he isn’t going to take it mendacity down anymore. He added that he’s ready for a response from the Congress management.

“I am not after the party ticket or any posts in the party. Pushed to the wall, I will campaign in the whole state but will never say for which party,” he mentioned.

Asked whether or not he’ll contest in Palakkad meeting seat, Gopinath mentioned he has not determined something until now. 

The CPM district secretariat which met right here on Tuesday is learnt to have really helpful the identify of C P Pramod within the seat. Party district secretary C Okay Rajendran mentioned, “Gopinath has not approached us. He still remains in Congress. Let him make his stand clear and only after that, we can discuss it.”  

District secretariat member and occasion strongman P Okay Sasi additionally mentioned Gopinath has not contacted the CPM.

“However, if he abandons Congress, the CPM is ready to welcome him. Gopinath had differences with the party for some time,” mentioned Sasi. 

Meanwhile, a senior Congress chief mentioned on situation of anonymity that Gopinath won’t ever depart the occasion.

“Everyone knows that if he contests from Palakkad even with the LDF support, he stands no chance of winning. Therefore, as far as I know, he is eyeing the post of DCC president after V K Sreekantan, MP, steps down. This posturing could be a move to get an assurance on it,” he mentioned.

In the 2016 meeting elections, CPM’s N N Krishnadas was relegated to the third place with 28.07 per cent votes, whereas Shafi bought 41.77% votes and BJP’s Sobha Surendran 29.08% votes.

When in comparison with the 2011 meeting elections, Shafi’s vote financial institution had remained kind of the identical. In 2011, Shafi had secured 42.41% votes, CPM’s Okay Okay Divakaran 35.82% and BJP’s Udayabhaskar 19.80%, which reveals that CPM votes had gone to the BJP. 

Gopinath had proved his mettle by defeating the CPM in its citadel of Alathur in 1991, the one time majority of voters turned towards CPM.

He has additionally been the president of Peringottukurissy panchayat for the previous 25 years.The BJP, however, is toying with the thought of fielding both occasion spokesman Sandeep Warrier or Metroman E Sreedharan.