Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 17 : The Kerala Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday demanded the resignation of state Finance Minister Thomas Issac for allegedly lying and violating the oath of secrecy by deliberately leaking the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report on KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board) to the media.
The KIIFB is a government-owned financial institution formed to mobilise funds for infrastructure development outside the state and numerous projects are assigned funds from it.
The CAG ‘draft report’ has pointed out the lapses in the way KIIFB was run and Kerala Finance Minister went hammer and tongs over it last week which the Opposition Congress and the BJP have called a breach of privilege of the Assembly.
Issac has promoted the KIIFB ever since the Pinarayi Vijayan government assumed office.
Issac was often seen lauding this initiative which the Opposition termed as a ‘bluff’.
Earlier, Issac on November 14 said it was a CAG draft report but the CAG in a press release said it was the final report.The Minister on Tuesday told reporters that the real issue is not if it’s a draft or final report but there has been a huge conspiracy against the government to derail the state’s development projects.
“KIIFB projects are foolproof and none can tamper with it or use political influence.If the project fails to comply with necessary rules, even a minister cannot get it running.The Opposition is out to tarnish the KIIFB as an institution,” said Issac.
“Four pages of the CAG report were later filed and the issues pointed were never discussed with the state government.Though it was a draft, a detailed reply to it is being prepared and the need of the hour is for the whole state to rise up against the foul play that has taken place,” Issac said, adding, that he would deal with the Opposition’s breach of privilege charge on the floor of the Assembly.
Leader of Opposition and senior Congress functionary Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday told the media that time was up for the Kerala Finance Minister as he had violated every rule pertaining to how a CAG report should be handled.
“What’s really surprising is that from November 14 to November 16, Issac has maintained it was a draft report and today he has changed tack.Issac knows he is in trouble because the CAG has picked holes in the KIIFB and to create a smokescreen he is trying to wriggle out.He has no other option except to quit his post since he has violated all norms,” said Chennithala.
BJP Kerala President K.Surendran termed Issac as the “biggest liar” in Kerala.
“Issac has no locus standi to continue as the Kerala Finance Minister since he has committed a grave crime.He himself leaked a secret document and did it for a cover-up but in the bargain he has become the biggest liar in Kerala,” said Surendran.
Chennithala has written to the Assembly Speaker P.Sreeramakrishnan, intimating the error committed by Issac and sought his intervention for proper action.