THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has denied any significant engagement with US-based EMCC within the deep-sea fishing trawler deal, which was towards the LDF’s 2016 election manifesto that promised to guard the curiosity of native fishermen, because the controversy broke out in February. Nevertheless, the paperwork that got here into public area on Thursday present that the Chief Minister’s Workplace was within the know of the deal earlier than it was signed. The screenshots of WhatsApp chats between Kerala Transport Inland Improvement Company Restricted (KSINC) managing director N Prasanth and CM’s extra personal secretary Dhinesh Bhaskar revealed that the previous had knowledgeable the latter concerning the deal on February 1, a day earlier than the deal was signed.
It was adopted by one other message confirming the deal and Bhaskar congratulated Prasanth for clinching it. Related messages have been exchanged between Prasanth and extra chief secretary T Okay Jose, who was heading the inland navigation division then. Apparently, the chief minister had entrusted Jose with the probe into the allegations when the deal grew to become an argument.
Confronted with mounting strain, the federal government took an exit route and cancelled the settlement on February 22. Nevertheless, the brand new revelations got here as one other embarrassment for the LDF simply days earlier than the meeting elections. The chief minister, nevertheless, put up a courageous face throughout a public interplay in Kollam on Thursday and blamed Prasanth for signing the deal with out the federal government’s data.
Although Pinarayi and Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma had claimed that they weren’t conscious of the deal, the choice to cancel it got here after Opposition chief Ramesh Chennithala got here up with contemporary proof of the involvement of the federal government at numerous levels of the deal. Chennithala additionally alleged that the corporate representatives had additionally met the chief minister.