- RS Vinod, convenor of the BJP's co-operative cell in the state, was expelled from the primary membership, after the contents of the report surfaced
- According to an official in the chief minister's office, a probe into the corruption allegation has been ordered by the state vigilance director
- Seizing upon the corruption allegations, ruling CPM and opposition Congress demanded a CBI probe into the matter
The Kerala vigilance director has ordered a probe into a corruption allegation against some state BJP functionaries over the issue of grant of the MCI clearance for a private medical college.
As the BJP's Kerala unit came under a cloud, the party expelled a party functionary after an internal report purportedly said he had allegedly taken a bribe of Rs 5.60 crore to facilitate the approval from the Medical Council of India (MCI) for the college in Varkala near Thiruvananthapuram.
RS Vinod, convenor of the BJP's co-operative cell in the state, was expelled from the primary membership, hours after the contents of the report, reportedly submitted to state party chief last month, surfaced in a section of media.
Also read: BJP medical bribery row rocks Lok Sabha
And according to an official in the chief minister's office (CMO), a probe into the corruption allegation has been ordered by the state vigilance director. Announcing the expulsion of Vinod in a statement on Thursday night, state unit BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan said the allegation against Vinod was 'extremely serious'.
"With the charges, Vinod had tainted the anti-corruption image of the party... The gross indiscipline cannot be pardoned and his action was anti-party," PTI quoted Kummanam, who wanted the central leadership to enquire into the bribery allegation.
Earlier in the day, Kummanam had termed the media reports "exaggerated and based on rumours". Seizing upon the corruption allegations, ruling CPM and opposition Congress demanded a CBI probe into the matter.
The name of BJP state general secretary MT Ramesh was also mentioned in some media reports in this connection, but he dismissed allegations against him as "baseless". "I have no role in it", Ramesh told reporters in Kochi, asserting that his innocence would be proved.
The internal report had stated that the allegations were 'serious' especially at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking a strong position against corruption. It had also stated that a New Delhi-based person, against whom also charges regarding the Varkala medical college matter had been made, had misused a photo with the PM to portray himself as an influential person at the Centre.
Opposition leader in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala alleged, "What has come out is a widespread corruption involving state BJP leaders under the cover of BJP- led NDA government at the Centre."
CPM veteran VS Achuthanandan said the anti-graft image of the saffron party leaders had "burst like bubble" due to corruption charges. Only a comprehensive CBI probe monitored by court would expose the truth in this regard, he said.
(With agency inputs)
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:58 PM