In a big jolt to the Bharatiya Janata Party which is trying hard to make inroads into Kerala, an internal investigation conducted by a panel found that its leaders had received crores of rupees from private Medical college managements by assuring them that they will arrange approval for the college from Medical Council of India.
This is not the first time the Kerala BJP leaders are accused of indulging in corruption. During Vajpayee regime, many leaders have allegedly collected crores of rupees in lieu for obtaining petrol pumps.
Medical college scam echoed in Parliament when CPI(M) member M B Ragesh raised the issue as an adjournment motion. Rajesh alleged that BJP leaders collecting money from management and arranging them license for their college do not confine just to Kerala. The speaker denied permission to the motion and opposition members protested in the well of Assembly.
Reports suggest that the BJP national leadership has sought explanation from the state leaders.
The issue reached Parliament on Thursday when a CPI(M) MP from Kerala MB Rajesh moved an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha saying that the issue does not confine to the state demanding that it should be probed at national level. After the speaker denied permission for the motion, opposition parties protested in the well of the house. It is also learned that the BJP national leadership has asked explanation from the state leaders.
The inquiry has found that BJP co-operation cell convener, R S Vinod, has accepted Rs.5.60 crore as bribe from owner to SR Medical College in Varkala facilitate affiliation of the Medical Council of India (MCI) to his institute. Vinod reportedly confessed that he had taken the money to pay IMCI authorities in Delhi and the amount was handed over to one Satheesh Nair in New Delhi through a hawala dealer near Kochi. Nair is said to have connections with BJP leaderships in Delhi.
Shaji also said that one Rakesh Sivaraman, posing as private secretary to the BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan, had introduced the middle man to him through Vinod, who had demanded 17 crores for affiliation.
The committee submitted a report to the party top brass, confirming the allegations. Notably, the probe report was leaked to the media from the office of current state BJP chief Kummanam Rajshekharan, who was reportedly ordered the probe in this regard
After the college failed to get affiliation, the college owner Shaji complained to the BJP leadership, after which the probe was ordered. It is also reported that the BDJS, an ally of the BJP in the state, also came out against the accused as the complainant is associated with the party.
The matter will be discussed at the next state committee meeting of the BJP.
M T Ramesh, state general secretary, whose name also comes in the report refuted the allegation saying: “I haven’t taken money from anyone in connection with the MCI recognition for medical colleges.’’ BJP leaders, till now, have not commented publicly on the corruption charges.