Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s Excise Minister K. Babu on Saturday handed over his resignation to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, after a court ordered a case against him for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs.50 lakh to permit closed bars to continue to function.
Babu said it was the “result of a conspiracy” hatched by the opposition CPI-M and a section of the bar owners.
Babu’s resignation came soon after the Thrissur vigilance court ordered a case to be registered against him after the vigilance department asked for a month’s time to submit a verification report following a complaint by whistle-blower bar owner Biju Ramesh that he bribed Babu to permit bars to continue to function.
“All this while, I did not reveal what transpired that led to this situation in the court today.
“It was at a meeting held at the residence of CPI-M legislator V. Sivankutty on December 15, 2014, in which present CPI-M state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and a few bar owners decided to level this allegation against me,” Babu told reporters at a hurriedly called press meeting here.
The bar scam surfaced in October 2014 when Biju Ramesh alleged that the state’s then finance minister K.M. Mani was given Rs.1 crore as a bribe by Kerala’s bar owners to ensure reopening of the 418 closed bars in the state.
“It was on October 31, 2014 that Biju Ramesh, who owns nine bars in the capital city, first made an allegation against then state finance minister K.M. Mani.
“On that day, there was no mention of my name. But it was only after this meeting with CPI-M leaders where the conspiracy was hatched against me, Ramesh first raised the allegation against me,” said Babu.
He said he was not present in court on Saturday, and only heard about it from the media.
“I have always made my position very clear on this, ever since this allegation by the bar owner first surfaced. I had then said I will not latch on to technical grounds, instead I will take a moral call.
“I am yet to know the details of what transpired in the court today. I heard it from the media, when I was taking part in a function of the test run of the Kochi Metro and I immediately told the chief minister that I am resigning,” said Babu.
Babu hoped the “truth will come out one day”.
“I will continue to fight this legally and am sure the truth will come out one day, because till this moment, there is no case against me and there is not a single evidence against me. I have been a legislator for the past 25 years and my electorate here knows me well,” Babu said.
CPI-M state secretary Balakrishnan denied any conspiracy.
“The CPI-M has nothing to do with this case and what Babu said is baseless,” he said.
Ramesh said that even though he met Balakrishnan and Sivankutty, he did not visit Sivankutty’s home on December 15.
“For 41 days after the death of my father, I have not moved out of my home. I did not go to the residence of Sivankutty on December 15,” said Ramesh.
Mani had quit in November last year, after the high court gave the nod for a further probe as asked by the vigilance court.
As per the state’s new liquor policy, it has been decided that the nearly 700 bars in the state should be closed as part of the total prohibition plan.
On December 29, the Supreme Court upheld the liquor policy where only 27 five star hotels will be able to serve liquor. (IANS)(Photo: www.thequint.com)
Valletta, October 17, 2017 : A journalist who led the Panama Papers probe into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her residence, the media reported.
Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device, reports the Guardian.
A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”.
Her latest revelations accused Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.
No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack, the Guardian reported.
Malta’s President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, called for calm. “In these moments, when the country is shocked by such a vicious attack, I call on everyone to measure their words, to not pass judgement and to show solidarity.”
In a statement, Muscat condemned the “barbaric attack”.
“Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine,” said Muscat, adding “Both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way.”
He announced in parliament later on Monday that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers were on their way to Malta to assist with the investigation, following his request for help from the US government.
According to local media reports, Caruana Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago to say that she had been receiving death threats.
The journalist posted her final blog on her Running Commentary website at 2.35 p.m. on Monday, and the explosion, which occurred near her home, was reported to police just after 3 p.m.
Over the last two years, her reporting had largely focused on revelations from the Panama Papers, a cache of 11.5 million documents leaked from the internal database of the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. (IANS)
Ahmedabad, October 13, 2017 : Breaking his silence, BJP president Amit Shah rejected allegations of money laundering against his son Jay Shah whose company had reportedly recorded an extraordinary spike in business after the BJP came to power at the Centre, and asserted that it had not done any business with the government nor taken any kickbacks.
He also said that unlike the Congress, which had faced many corruption charges in the past, his son has shown courage to file a civil and criminal defamation suit on the allegations levelled against him and “invited a probe against himself” by this step.
“There is no money laundering involved in Jay’s company. This company is completely in commodity business, where turnover is more while the profit is less. We have exported bajra, corn and rice while coriander was imported. And after doing a turnover of Rs 80 crore, they don’t tell how much they made profit,” Amit Shah said at an “India Today” event “Gujarat Panchayat”.
Answering questions, he said that after making a turnover of Rs 80 crore, Jay made a loss of Rs 1.5 crore. “Where has money laundering been done? All the transactions happened through cheques and banks,” he said.
Asked about Jay Shah filing a defamation suit against the publication, Shah said: “Before answering your question I would like to ask you one thing. After Independence, how many corruption charges have been made against the Congress?
“Please understand this is not corruption. Many allegations of corruption were made against the Congress. Did it ever file a civil suit or defamation suit? No. Why they lacked such courage? Today Jay has filed a defamation as well as civil suit and is demanding a probe himself. Those who have the evidence can submit it to the court, and then the court will decide,” the BJP president said.
He said: “We have ourselves invited a probe and on the company issue I want to clarify that it has not done business with the government of even Re 1 nor taken any government land or tender. Neither has it received kickbacks as in the case of Bofors.”
When asked about Jay’s company securing unsecured loans, Shah said it was not unsecured loans. “It was a line of credit,” he added. (IANS)
New Delhi, September 5, 2017 : 26th July witnessed a big political drama in India, when Nitish Kumar, the C.M. of Bihar submitted his resignation.
The government in Bihar was a coalition of three political parties; Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), Lalu Yadav’s RJD and Congress.
Nitish was back in the C.M’s chair, the very next day due to the support extended to his party, JD (U) by BJP to form the government in Bihar.
The coalition of the aforesaid three parties thereby collapsed, which annoyed Lalu Yadav, the head of RJD a lot.
Lalu Yadav hijacked the plank of secularism to indulge in blatant corruption and promote his family in politics.
Secularism implies the principle of separating government institutions as well as politicians from religion and religious figures. In India the meaning of secularism has entirely been altered by politicians like Lalu, who openly woo Muslim fundamentalists from Mosques and waste government funds in order to appease them.
Lalu keeps on harping upon keeping Muslims safe in Bihar. Maintenance of law and order is the foremost task of any elected government, what’s the big deal in it?
Lalu’s politics involves developing vote banks from his caste comprising of Yadavs and Muslims.
He portrays himself as the ‘messiah’ of Muslims by aligning with fundamentalist Muslim preachers and gangsters like Shahbuddin.
Lalu never addresses the root cause of poverty and backwardness among Indian Muslims.
It is largely due to the community shunning of mainstream educational institutes and going to worthless madrasas, (Muslim religious schools) which primarily focus on students, rote learning of the Muslim holy book; Koran.
In the absence of modern knowledge, madrasa graduates are unable to improve their material prosperity and face the challenges of contemporary society.
The Ulemas or the Islamic scholars’ regressive attitude is reflected in the following statement of Maulana Samiul Haq, of the Haqqania madrasa, a prominent Deobandi madrasa; “Young minds are not for thinking. We catch them for the madrasas when they are young, and by the time they are old enough to think, they know what to think.”
Fake seculars like Lalu would never tell Muslims to study in proper schools because an educated Muslim can easily decipher the tricks played by such politicians.
A large number of illiterate or madrasa brand Muslims suit Lalu because then by showing the fear of BJP and Hindus, these Muslims can be easily turned into vote banks for his political party.
CBI, ED and other government agencies recently conducted large number of raids on Lalu and his family. They discovered Billions amassed by this so called ‘champion of oppressed’.
Lalu accumulated large number of farm-houses, land holdings, companies etc. in the name of his family comprising of his illiterate wife and 9 children; 7 daughters and 2 sons.
Both his sons, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, are school drop-outs. The former was the deputy CM of Bihar with various ministerial portfolios, while the latter was the Health Minister of the province in the coalition government.
Lalu was declared guilty by the courts for his lead role in the Bihar fodder scam worth thousands of Crores. Lalu Yadav was jailed for 135 days in 1997 but he was lodged in a Bihar Military Police guest house with all comforts.
Before his incarceration, Lalu installed his uneducated wife Rabri Devi as the C.M. of Bihar. Lalu was jailed on various other occasions for his involvement in the aforementioned swindle.
Every time, Lalu was put in prison, he received 5 star hotel facilities and got bail easily. Lalu continued being the de facto C.M of Bihar by inducting his wife as the rubber- stamp C.M. of Bihar.
He was finally sentenced to a 5 year jail term in October 2013 by a special CBI court.
Instead of being in a jail, he is again out on bail, busy in enriching and establishing his progeny in politics.
A poster for Lalu Yadav’s political rally in Patna on Sunday, 27th August depicted one of Lalu’s foolish son as Lord Krishna while the other buffoon is shown as Arjun. Lalu’s daughter and Rajya Sabha M.P, Misa Bharti is depicted as the famous freedom fighter, Rani of Jhansi; Lakshmibai. Lalu and his wife Rabri are blessing their children in this poster.
What a mockery of historical and religious characters.
Lalu is saying that he and his family are being victimized. These utterances constitute ‘heights of shamelessness’.
Lalu indulged in blatant corruption and misuse of office for personal gains. On getting exposed he started parroting; this is a conspiracy of BJP and law would take its own course.
These terms in India mean that court cases would drag for 20-30 years. The politician will die but the court proceedings would still remain pending.
Classic example is Jayalalitha, the court cases against her were continuing since, 1996 but the final judgment was passed in 2017 after her death.
Lalu’s son, Tejashwi Prasad, the Ex-Deputy C.M of Bihar was a member of IPL cricket team, Delhi Daredevils for 4 years from 2008-2012.
During these 4 years, Tejashwi didn’t play a single game for Delhi Daredevils.
Which sporting team in the world would keep such a useless player in its squad?
Delhi Daredevils is owned by GMR group. This business house must be investigated, as to what were the compelling reasons behind continuous retention of this trash cricketer, who wasn’t competent to play even a single game during 4 seasons.
What were the financial benefits given to Tejashwi? Did the GMR group receive concessions from Lalu Yadav in exchange for keeping his son in Delhi Daredevils team? These are serious issues and need further investigations.
Misa Bharti, eldest daughter of Lalu Yadav is a Rajya Sabha M.P. She topped the MBBS examination of Patna Medical College Hospital during the late 90’s.
Misa never excelled in her classes, either at school or college. At her convocation, the presenter of the degree requested her not to treat any patients ever.
Lalu through his clout in Bihar first got her admission into MBBS and then deceptively made her a topper.
Misa Bharti after topping her MBBS studies and obtaining her medical degree did not work as a Doctor even for a single day, neither did she start her own medical practice.
This is humbug Lalu Yadav, the ‘self- styled’ protector of Muslims and ‘self- declared’ skipper of the Indian opposition political parties, comprising of so called secular forces but in reality just corrupt family controlled political dynasties.
Lalu and his political clan should be imprisoned for at least a minimum period of 10 years with provisions of no bail plus hard labor in the jail.
All undeclared properties; including land parcels, bank accounts, commercial businesses, residences etc. unearthed by the authorities during raids on Lalu and his family must be confiscated by the central government.
Lalu’s party RJD, which is nothing more than a corrupt family enterprise should be disbanded and a life ban imposed on Lalu plus his kin from pursuing political careers.
An exemplary example needs to be made of this corrupt, Lalu so, as to deter other existing as well as budding ‘Lalu Prasad Yadavs’, abounding in the Indian political system from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
– The author is a Master Degree holder in International Tourism & Leisure Studies from Netherlands and is based in China.