Monday, March 31, 2014

Govt files appeal to expunge HC remarks

KOCHI: The government Monday filed an appeal in the division bench of the Kerala High Court to expunge remarks made by the single bench against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in connection with the land deal case involving former gunman Salim Raj. The plea filed by advocate general K P Dandapani says the observation made was without following judicial discipline.

The judge’s observations against the chief minister were untimely. The remarks of the judge were like those of the opposition.  The court was not willing to hear the version of the chief minister and his office. The court just considered whether a CBI probe was necessary or not. However, the single bench exceeded all that and mentioned the solar case and Saritha S Nair in the verdict.

The Supreme Court had directed not to make any remarks against individuals. The high court harshly criticized the chief minister violating all that. Violation of social justice was seen from the side of the high court.
The appeal was filed after chief minister held talks with the advocate general at the Aluva Palace Monday morning.

No bail for Madhani

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has said that Bangalore blast accused and PDP chairman Abdul Nasar Madhani will not be granted bail for now. It also instructed him to continue his stay in the hospital until he got completely well.

The court is reported to have given the instruction after going through the reports given by Karnataka government. It also asked the government to arrange eye operation for Madhani. The court will reconsider the bail plea after four weeks.   

Courts need not opine on all world affairs: K C Joseph

KANNUR: Minister K C Joseph has come out with strong criticism against the Kerala High Court who made some unwelcome observations on Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Making a veiled attack on the high court, he said “courts need not opine on all things happening in the world”.

It is unfortunate that the court made comments against the chief minister without listening to his version. In the run up to the election, it has become a weapon in the hands of Opposition,” said Joseph.

To another question, he said he had no answer for Opposition leader V S Achuthandan’s remark that he is the henchman of Chandy.

RSP should have waited for one more day for seat: Pannyan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPI State Secretary Pannyan Raveendran has said that if the RSP had waited for 24 hours more, they would have got LDF’s Kollam Lok Sabha seat ticket. The LDF was not reluctant to withdraw M A Baby’s candidature.  

“National Secretary T J Chandrachoodan has virtually sold the RSP to the UDF. What he has sold is his own party’s Kerala unit,” said Pannyan who asked the government whether it will resign if it loses seats in the election.

Goons brandish knife, steal bike

NEYYATTINKARA: A team of goons on Monday has stolen a bike form here after holding a kid at knife point. The stolen bike belongs to one Vinod staying near Parassala Mahadevar temple. He had parked his bike in the house of his neighbour Ajith Kumar.

The goons first came to Vinod’s and on not finding him there went to Ajith’s house. They held Ajith’s kid at knife point and asked for the bike’s key. Scared out of his wits, Ajith gave them the bike key.

With the bike, they went to Vinod’s shop at Mundaplavila junction, hit a worker there with soda glass bottle and fled the spot. Parassala Police have registered a case and started investigation.

Why tolerating AG, asks P C George

KANNUR: Why is the government tolerating the advocate general criticized for his foolish acts, asked Chief Whip P C George. Advocates absurdity is the reason for the bad times of the government. Talking to the media, George said Justice Harun Al Rasheed is a respectable and honest person.

The polls will be an assessment of my administration, the statement of the chief minister shows his boldness, George said.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is the most popular chief minister of the state. The UDF will get at least 12 seats but it will not cross 16, he said.

Court observations: Chandy calls on AG

KOCHI: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy called on Advocate General K P Dandapani to discuss about the appeal to be filed to expunge the remarks made by the Kerala High Court against the former in connection with the land deal case involving his former gunman Salim Raj. The talks held at the Aluva Palace lasted 45 minutes.

The chief minister, who boarded the morning flight to Nedumbassery, went straight to the palace. The advocate general was waiting for the chief minister with the concerned files. The chief minister later left for Palakkad by car. Both were not ready to disclose the details of the talks.

Meantime, the government is likely to file an appeal today to expunge the remarks against the chief minister. The high court had harshly criticized the chief minister while ordering a CBI probe in the Kadakampally and Kalamassery land deal cases involving Salim Raj.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Left and democratic forces to gain momentum after polls:SRP

KOZHIKODE: The CPI (M) Sunday said a platform of secular and democratic forces will gain momentum after the forthcoming general elections in the country.

Speaking at a 'Dilli Chalo' programme organized by the Calicut Press Club here politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai said emerging political scenario hinted towards such a possibility.

He said the party adopted a three-pronged strategy to achieve this goal by ousting the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, keeping to the communal forces from reaching power and strengthening the left and the democratic forces.

Conditions of the common men, working class agricultural workers and peasants, among others, were worse since the introduction of reforms by the Congress in 1991, he said.

Their conditions further worsened as the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that assumed office in 2008 and the UPA from 2004 continued the neo-liberal policies which were helpful to the rich and big business houses in the country, he said.

He said the UPA government alone gave whopping Rs 27 lakh crore-tax relaxation to corporate houses and big business establishments during their tenure.

Underlining the need for a change, he said without this the condition of the poor and marginalized sections of the people could not be improved.

Chandy can continue if unashamed, says Gowri Amma

KOCHI: There has never been a chief minister in the history of the state who has been severely criticized by the court, said JSS state president K R Gowri Amma. He should have resigned soon after the criticism. He can continue if unashamed, she said.

She said this while reacting to reporters in connection with the criticism in the land case involving former gunman Salim Raj.

CM's statement insult to court, says VS

PATHANAMTHITTA: The statement of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy that the court criticized him without hearing his version in the land fraud case, is like insulting the court, said opposition leader V S Achuthanandan. The observation of the court is like slapping the chief minister, he said.

The government’s act of using the fund of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for other purposes is like violating the code of conduct. The government should have tried to obtain the fund from the centre, he said.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Minister K C Joseph is CM’s henchman: VS

CHALAKKUDY: Opposition leader V S Achuthandandan has sarcastically remarked that minister K C Joseph is the henchman of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. “That is why he said the court was crossing limits, after it severely criticised the chief minister,” he said.

Chief Whip P C George is another henchman of the chief minister. VS alleged that PC George was once “employed to hound away” the judge who was conducting the Palm oil case. Achuthanandan was speaking at the election rally of LDF Independent candidate Innocent.   

He said the court verdict was a slap on Chandy’s face. “Through the verdict, the court has pulled Chandy by his dhoti using its left hand and slapped his face with its right hand,” added VS in jocular vein

HC observation against CM: Govt mulls revision petition or appeal

KOCHI:The government may file revision petition or go for appeal against the observations made by the Kerala High Court against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The government has sought the advice of Adovate General in this regard.

The Advocate General is going through a copy of the verdict. In the appeal, it will be stated that the observation against the chief minister was untimely and it was out of the purview of the court to consider the matter.  

Meanwhile, the chief minister has interacted with the high command, regarding the court’s remarks. The chief minister has held talks with AICC general secretary in charge of Kerala Mukul Wasnik, and Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel. Chandy explained that the court had come up with remarks without hearing his version.

LPG tanker lorry tips over on auto; one dies

KOZHIKODE: An LPG tanker lost control and overturned on an auto rickshaw at Kozhikode Westhill on Saturday, killing one person and triggering panic in surrounding areas. The deceased has been identified as Kunduparambu Ravi.

Police have evacuated people within one kilometre radius of the accident spot as gas was found to be leaking from the lorry. Electricity supply in the area was cut and vehicular movement in the area was stopped.       

The accident happened at 3:30 pm and at a place near Government Guesthouse on Westhill-Easthill mini bypass. The LPG tanker lorry, owned by Indian Oil Corporation, was coming from Kannur.

The police said the lorry overturned when the driver took a sharp right turn at Chunkam, where there were two sharp left-right turns. The auto was parked on the left side for some repair works and Ravi was standing near it. The lorry overturned on the auto crushing it along with Ravi, who died on the spot.

Ravi’s body has been shifted to Kozhikode Medical College. Meanwhile, the driver and helper of the lorry fled the scene.   

Fire force personnel along with the police are carrying out the rescue work. Experts from Chelari IOC plant have also reached the spot.

Court was misled by Karnataka govt, says Madhani

BANGALORE: Bangalore blast case accused Abdul Nazer Madhani alleged on Saturday that the Karnataka had misled the Supreme Court regarding his bail plea. Madany made this comment while he was being shifted to Manipal hospital for special treatment.    

“The Karnataka government has denied me justice. It submitted wrong information about me in the court. The court was also not informed about my illness. My left eye has gone blind. My repeated request for treatment has fallen on deaf ears. But I have belief in the legal system,” said Madhani, who also requested people to pray for him.

Terrorist Waqas stayed in the homestay of murder accused: Police

KOTTAYAM: Secret Intelligence agency has found out that terrorist Waqas stayed in the homestay run by a murder accused in Munnar. He lived in Wellvenue homestay on Colony road in Munnar.

Last September he had come to stay in the homestay. He stayed here under the name of Jameel Shafeequil,27, from Selhi Vildipur. He had told the cottage owner that Waqas is his brother-in-law. Jameel also gave his Delhi address to the cottage and paid Rs 65000 towards rent.

The police found out that for two months Waqas stayed here for the above-mentioned rent and after that he stayed in the same place for about ten days, paying Rs 300 per day.

Akthar was given accommodation for two weeks in another place in Munnar route. The place is 2km away from Munnar Police camp.

Jameel absconding

Jameel reached Munnar three years ago. He worked in Guru hotel and left after a quarrel with the hotel owner. Later he started his own business as a wayside vendor.

For the past two weeks he has been absconding. The news about his disappearance came out on the day after Holy. His mobile phone, according to the police, is switched off and it is suspected that he has terror links.

Court didn’t lend an ear to me: Chandy

ALAPPUZHA:  While asserting that he welcomed the high court order for a CBI inquiry into the land grab case involving his former gunman Salim Raj, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the court was not willing to hear his side before making statements against him.

“As a common citizen, I didn’t get justice,” he said. But he was quick to add that he was not complaining against the court. The chief minister also didn’t give a clear answer when asked whether he had plans for appealing against the high court verdict.

“In this case, the government has nothing to hide. In solar case also the government took the same stand. If anybody ‘tortures’ a person who has done no wrong, people will respond against that…,” he said.

CM’s is disgraceful approach: VS

KOLLAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan has said that the chief minister is taking a disgraceful stand even after the land grab case involving Salim Raj was, on Friday, handed over to the CBI.

“It doesn’t prick the conscience of the chief minister when the corrupt are being dealt by the court,” he said.

CPM leader Kodiyeri once again grabbed the opportunity to demand – “the chief minister should resign.”

I’m not in AAP: Kalpana

KOCHI: “I am not an Aam Admi Party woman, Innocent is my chief minister. Idavela babu is deputy chief minister. Cinema is my party. There is no politics more than that for me,” said actress Kaplana at a press conference here on Friday.

“Janaseva Sishu bhavan chairman has misled me into taking part in the AAP candidate Nurudheen’s meeting. Though I met him, I was not aware that it was a party function. Only after hearing about the news in media I came to know that it was a goof-up. I have explained everything to Innocent,” said Kalpaan

She said she had campaigned before for her cousin Sooranadu Rajasekharan and actor Ganesh. “Other than that I have  no connection with politics,” she added.

Friday, March 28, 2014

No bail for Madhani

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday denied bail to PDP chairman Abdul Nazar Madhani, jailed in Karnataka in the Bangalore blasts case. The court directed Karnataka Government to shift him to Manipal Hospital tomorrow itself.

The court directed to submit a report on his health condition on Monday.

LDF will suffer setback if court verdict highlighted, says CM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Friday said the LDF will suffer a setback if Kerala High Court’s observations against me are highlighted. He said that if a CBI probe is needed in the case involving personal staffs, then it is satisfactory.

The public will punish me if found guilty but if a person is punished for no reason, then the people will react. The government will not protect the guilty. I am being attacked in the case for quite some time.

Meantime, Minister K C Joseph came to the fore criticizing the verdict of the court. He raised suspicion on the verdict during election time and said it has been offered to the opponents to use it as a political tool.

No need for appeal against HC verdict: Chennithala

KANNUR: Chennithala has welcomed CBI enquiry into Kalamassery-Kadakampally land scam. He said he had no complaints about bringing chief minister’s office also under the purview of the CBI inquiry.

He said he personally felt there was need for going for appeal against the high court order. opinion was to      

Meanwhile, the chief minister has not yet spoken about the court’s comments.

CM answerable to allegations: HC

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court harshly criticized Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the judgment leaving the Kalamassery and Kadakampally land deal cases to the CBI. Justice Harun Al Rasheed said the chief minister is answerable to the allegations voiced against his office.

The court has recently noticed the allegations leveled towards his office. The people have witnessed the solar and land cheating cases amazingly.  A situation was there to expel personal staffs in connection with Saritha and solar cases which should be taken seriously.

One among the personal staff of the chief minister involving in a cheating case is shocking. Controversies could have been avoided if neither the chief minister nor others were cautious while selecting personal staffs. Salim Raj should be called a gang leader of land mafia and this is prima facie evident in this case. The chief minister is himself responsible for his office.  The office which controls administration should have been a model to the public.

HC leaves Kalamassery, Kadakampally land cases to CBI

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court Friday ordered leaving the sensational Kadakampally and Kalamassery land cheating cases involving Salim Raj, former gunman of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, to the CBI.

Justice Harun Al Rasheed directed to hand over the vigilance and revenue documents in the case to the CBI and complete the probe in nine months.  

Major irregularities have been detected in the land deal cases. A CBI probe is inevitable to find out the truth. It was understood that Salim Raj used severe force on the complainants. The court said the probe is handed over to the CBI to expose the actual facts.

CM’s is disgraceful approach: VS

KOLLAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan has said that the chief minister is taking a disgraceful stand even after the land grab case involving Salim Raj was, on Friday, handed over to the CBI.

“It doesn’t prick the conscience of the chief minister when the corrupt are being dealt by the court,” he said.

CPM leader Kodiyeri once again grabbed the opportunity to demand – “the chief minister should resign.”

Drunk ASI, driver cut a sorry figure before public

ULLOOR: Two persons in an inebriated condition ran their car into a divider on Thursday and cut a sorry figure in front of the public. The irony was that one among them was Traffic ASI; the other was his friend.   

The incident happened on the road between Nalanchira and Mannanthala at around 11 pm. ASI Saranath and his friend Sashidharan, both fully drunk, were going towards Mannanthala in their car. Sashidharan, who was at the wheels, lost his direction and hit the divider. Fortunately, the car got stuck in the divider and came to a halt, avoiding any tragedy.      

Though the people reached near the car for helping out the two, both the persons, still inside the car, were not in a condition to talk sensibly. Moreover, the ASI was trying to threaten the people, saying he is an ASI and would show them who he was the next day.

However, the ASI somehow managed to gather his wits and called up the nearby traffic police station for help. When the police jeep came, the people who had gathered there booed him and his friend while they got inside the jeep. Later, the police said a case had been registered against Sashidharan for drunken driving.

Oommen Chandy’s foul play revealed: Pinarayi

TODUPUZHA: CPM State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has said that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s foul play in land grab case and solar scam has been revealed through statements made by the high court. “If he has the minimum sense of courtesy, he should resign,” he said.    

He alleged that even from the beginning, the chief minister had taken a stand to protect Salimraj.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

KPCC didn’t discuss Cabinet reshuffle: Sudheeran

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: KPCC president V M Sudheeran, on Thursday, said no discussions were held in the KPCC meeting regarding cabinet reshuffle while Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said there would be changes in the cabinet.

A few days ago, the chief minister had hinted at the cabinet reshuffle post the election. Sudheeran, however defended the chef minister, saying, the cabinet reshuffle was the prerogative of the chief minister.

In a different context, the KPCC president said the party would look into the leakage of the report by Vakkom committee, which studied about the UDF’s drawbacks in the last Assembly election. “The report has been leaked at the time of election and this will be examined at party level after giving due weightage to the issue,” he added.

KPCC didn’t discuss Cabinet reshuffle: Sudheeran

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: KPCC president V M Sudheeran, on Thursday, said no discussions were held in the KPCC meeting regarding cabinet reshuffle while Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said there would be changes in the cabinet.

A few days ago, the chief minister had hinted at the cabinet reshuffle post the election. Sudheeran, however defended the chef minister, saying, the cabinet reshuffle was the prerogative of the chief minister.

In a different context, the KPCC president said the party would look into the leakage of the report by Vakkom committee, which studied about the UDF’s drawbacks in the last Assembly election. “The report has been leaked at the time of election and this will be examined at party level after giving due weightage to the issue,” he added.

Angioplasty done on P T Thomas

THRISSUR: Congress leader PT Thomas MP was admitted to Thrissur Jubilee hospital in the wee hours of Thursday after he developed severe chest pain. Angioplasty was performed on him at around 2pm. There were two blocks in his heart, and the serious one was removed. The hospital authorities have said that his conditional is stable.  

Thomas was travelling in Kasargode-bound Maveli Express train from Ernakulam. When the train reached Chalakkudy, he experienced severe chest pain. Those who accompanied him informed the TTR, who conveyed the matter to Thrissur station.

A team of doctors led by cardiologist Dr Bino Benjamin tended to him. In the morning  Chief Minister Oommen Chandy visited Thomas in the hospital.

Two youths die in accident at Vellarada

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Two youths,travelling on a bike at Vellarada, died after they met with an accident. No information is available on the vehicle that hit their bike.

The deceased were Shaji, 32, (a photographer of Kunnathukal Chirathalamele Puthanveedu and son of Sidharthan and Tulasi) and Aneesh, 27, son of Sasidharan and Saleena of Karakkonam Chemmankala Puthenveedu.
The incident happened on Wednesday night. Shaji died at the accident spot and Aneesh died in hospital.

murder case: Aryadan Shaukath questioned

NILAMBUR: In connection with the murder of Radha, a sweeper at Nilambur Congress party office, Minister Aryadan Muhammed's son and director Aryadan Shaukath was questioned by the special police team investigating the case.

Shaukkat's secretary V Raju and driver were also questioned. In total, nine people were quizzed on Wednesday regarding the case. 

Sunanda’s death: Court accepts petition against Tharoor

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  A petition, seeking to file case against Thiruvananthapuram UDF candidate in connection with his wife Sunanda Pushkhar’s death, was received in file by the Judicial Magistrate court.   

The case will be considered on March 31.

CPM’s inquiry into TP murder case was to protect party: SRP

KOCHI: CPM Politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai has said that the inquiry by the CPM into TP murder case was conducted with the intention to protect the party.

The party had done it for itself and it had conducted the inquiry into all aspects of the case. When the findings were explained at the party conclaves, it was accepted by the members and aides of the party, he said.

“What the party looked at is whether anyone had acted against its policies. It is difficult to reveal who all were involved in the investigation, but it brought even the politburo under its ambit,” he said.      

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Four knocked down by train in Kottayam

KOTTAYAM: A woman and her daughter were fatally knocked down by a train at Kumaranalloor in the district. Twins, who sustained serious injuries, has been admitted at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital.  

The bodies of the two identified as Sandhya, wife of Biju of Kattappana, and her daughter Vidya, were found lying inside the tracknear the Neelimangalam Bridge at Kumaranalloor.

The twins identified as Akhil and Ashwin aged 9, with serious injuries have been admitted at the intensive care unit of Kottayam Medical College Hospital.

On information obtained from the children, they reached Kumaranalloor last evening. The house of Biju is found locked in an investigation conducted by the Kattappana police. No details have been obtained from the local residents. The Gandhinagar police have started an investigation.

The bodies of two migrant labourers were found from a river near the same track on Tuesday morning. 

Demolition of Mazhavil Restaurant begins in Aluva

ALUVA: Authorities have started demolishing Mazhavil Restaurant constructed by the district tourism promotion council on the flood-line of the river Periyar at Aluva. The demolition procedures started following Supreme Court order.

The work is in progress as per the directive of district collector M G Rajamanickam and by a team led by ADM Ramachandran, public works department executive engineer Salomi and the police.

Each part of the building is being demolished by the JCB. The collector has instructed the PWD to submit a report today itself after demolishing the whole building. It is not sure whether the task can be completed today itself. The team came with a small JCB at 8 am but when a demand for a big one was raised, it was brought after an hour.

An official team including tahasildar Chandrasekharan Nair, Aluva West Village officer Joseph, PWD assistant engineer Benny, DySP V K Sanal Kumar and CI B Harikumar are camping in the area.

The building was constructed by an amount of Rs one crore in 2005 violating environmental rules

If UDF loses, Chandy will lose job: P C George

KOTTAYAM:  PC George has said that if the UDF doesn’t win the Lok Sabha seats in the State by a good margin, a group in the Congress will ensure that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is no more in his job. “If the UDF fails, it will be viewed as the failure of the chief minister,” he said in an interview to Kerala Kaumudi.        

George said he didn’t feel that a reshuffle in the cabinet would happen soon after the election because many are against including those who resigned their cabinet posts. “Moreover, the cabinet will lose balance community-wise, resulting in more representation from a particular community. Or else, either Forest minister or Home Minister will have to resign. If the chief minister survives the ‘election current’, somebody from RSP will become a minister in the place of Shibu John.”

When asked about Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan’s sudden change of stand,  Geroge said his U-turn had ruined his image among the pro-leftist. “This change of stand may not be for politburo positions but because of the thought that he is 92 and there is no scope for anymore fight with the party leadership,” he added.

Collector to accept Jose K Mani's nomination papers

KOTTAYAM: The nomination papers of Jose K Mani, the UDF candidate of the Kottayam seat, will be accepted. The decision was taken after the central election commission stated that no mistakes were found. The official announcement will be made by the district collector tomorrow.

The rival parties pointed out that Form A submitted by Jose along with his nomination and signed by K M Mani claiming to be the KC (M) chairman, was not legally valid since according to the election commission’s documents C F Thomas MLA is the chairman of the party. He was chosen party chairman in 2005. In 2008, Thomas was replaced by K M Mani but the election commission did not have the documents of it.

Documents showing the chairmanship of Mani were handed over to the district collector and also the returning officer. Also the documents of the meet convened under the leadership of Mani were also submitted. The problem was solved after producing the accounts of the party’s income and expenses.

State election commissioner Nalini Netto said a decision will be taken by the collector on accepting the nomination papers of Jose K Mani.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunanda death: Viscera report hints at drug overdose, but inconclusive

NEW DELHI: The viscera report of Sunanda Pushkar, Union Minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife who died under mysterious circumstances two months ago, hints towards drug poisoning but its findings are still inconclusive to file an FIR in the case, according to police.

“The CFSL report has not been able to give much headway into the probe. It rules out poisoning and hints toward drug poisoning,” said a senior police official associated with the probe.

It was expected that the nature of the poison and the quantity could be established after viscera tests at CFSL but the report has failed to do so.

Police sources said that investigators will now take the opinion from the panel of doctors from AIIMS which had carried out an autopsy to shed light into findings of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) report.

The findings in the CFSL report, which was handed over to Delhi Police on Friday, are still inconclusive for the police to file an FIR in the case, they said.

On January 21, a sub-divisional magistrate had directed Delhi Police to investigate the murder or suicide angle in the case after autopsy report has cited the death as “sudden and unnatural” while the cause of death was mentioned as poisoning. The SDM has also been informed about the CFSL report.

Sunanda, 52, was found dead in a 5-star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17, a day after her twitter spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar over an alleged affair with Tharoor.

In a report to the police, the SDM, who had recorded the statements of Sunanda’s brother, son, Tharoor and his staff, had said that no family member suspected any foul play in the death.

The autopsy report had mentioned more than a dozen injury marks on Sunanda’s both hands and an abrasion on her cheek which suggests a “use of blunt force”, besides a “deep teeth bite” on the edge of her left palm. Viscera samples were preserved after the autopsy at AIIMS and were sent to CFSL for further tests.

Couple killed in accident

KOLLAM: A couple was killed when an over-speeded tempo traveller and a car collided on the national highway in Neendakara.

The dead has been identified as R Raveendran Nair (58) of Mudavanmukul, personal assistant of Home Minister Chennithala, and his wife Vijayamma (54), personal assistant of Minister Balakrishnan. Three persons travelling in two vehicles sustained injuries.

The incident happened last night at 11.30 pm. Car driver V K Krishna Kumar (55), tempo driver Vijayan (36) and a passenger (33) were the injured. Seriously injured Vijayan has been shifted to the medical college hospital in the capital city.

Police said the accident happened when the speeding lorry hit the car proceeding to the capital city from Alappuzha. The injured were extricated from the mangled car by police and fire force. The body of Nair has been shifted to the district hospital and that of Vijayamma at the Medicity Hospital.

The couple lost their lives when they were returning after inviting their relatives and friends for their daughter’s wedding. The wedding of their daughter Rajani is fixed for April 24.

Prof T J Joseph to join service on March 28

KOTHAMANGALAM:  Prof T J Joseph of Newman College in Thodupuzha, whose palm was chopped by radicals, will join service soon. The diocese of Kothamangalam changed their former stand after holding talks with Prof Joseph Monday morning. The diocese has given him a chance to enter service on March 28 and retire on 31st and a written document on it will be handed over to Joseph within two days.

The diocese changed their stand following stiff opposition from the society, human rights activists and devotees of the sabha. It has been hinted that they have put forward a condition as not to take any legal action against the sabha or institution when a chance is given to retire with pension benefits.

Joseph said nothing can replace Salomi but still happy as her last wish has been fulfilled and thanked the sabha and society for the decision. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

VS has swerved off the path of truth: Thiruvanchoor

KOTTAYAM:  Forest Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan has said that Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan has deviated from the path of truth by spurning slain RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan. “ It is sad that VS also joined the group that shunned TP.”

“I wrote a book on TP to bring out the truth side of his murder. TP had received life-threats even when V S was the chief minister,” he added.

VS is a broken idol: Chennithala

KOLLAM: Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala has said that Opposition leader V S Achuthanadan is a broken idol. He said a CBI inquiry into TP murder case was ordered on the basis of VS’ letter and asked whether VS was still firm on the contents of the letter.

“Achuthanandan’s recent change of stand marked the downfall of the leader called V S Achuthanandan. He is making a mockery of himself before the public by switching his stands on and off,” sad Chennithala.
To another question Chennithala said no discussions had taken place regarding K B Ganesh Kumar’s ministerial post.

Solar case: VS will file petition seeking CBI inquiry

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan has decided to approach Kerala High Court, seeking a CBI inquiry into the solar scam. He would file the petition next week. Senior advocate of Sekhar will represent VS in the high court.

CMP splits, Aravindakshan group to cooperate with LDF

THRISSUR: The CMP has split and the group led by K R Aravindakshan will work in conjunction with the LDF. Leaders Aravindakshan and M K Kannan said in a press conference on Saturday that their move was in protest against UDF’s gross negligence towards them.
Aravindakshan revealed that CMP general secretary M V Raghavan had put forward the suggestion to part ways with the UDF and the later also assured the group of his support.

In Saturday’s 131-member committee meeting, 81 members were present. Seven had applied for leave, said Kannan. Meanwhile, each group claimed that out of the nine politburo members, seven were with it.

Kannan said his group were not given due respect of a constituent party by the UDF. Only C P John was given all the respect and Congress motive was to destroy CMP using C P John. “We will return all posts and accolades received from the UDF and hold unconditional discussions with the LDF,” said Kannan, adding that Thrissur convention would be held on March 30.  .   

Today’s developments in the CMP also saw clashes between two groups within the party. Aravindakshan group occupied the Kannur CMP office and put up the board that read LDF election committee office. The office was inaugurated by CPM Kannur District  secretary P Jayarajan.    

In the melee, PB member Ajeer was attacked. Following the clash, policemen were deployed at the spot.

Thiruvanchoor made money out of TP’s book: VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: “It was Thirvanchoor who sold TP Chandrashekharan at meat price. It was he who sold his book on TP and minted money out of that business,” said Achuthanadan who was taking part in the poll debate organised by the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club on Saturday.
“TP had informed the chief minister Oommen Chandy and Union minister of state Mullapally Ramachandran about life threat he was facing. And in spite of that, did they give him protection? Without doing that then, now they are shedding crocodile tears,” he said.  

Achuthanandan said what the CPM conducted was a secret inquiry into the murder and he was not willing to divulge the details of the inquiry team. “I had not given any letter to government, seeking a CBI inquiry into TP murder but the letter was given to Party General Secretary Prakash Karat. In the letter request was made to inquire into all aspects of the murder.”

As per the investigation, Party’s local committee member K C Ramachandran was sacked from the party after he was found to be guilty. The case of other accused by the court is different. “Let the CBI probe take place as per law. We are not making any comment on it. My culture is to clear doubts through interactions and I will go any extent to take action,” said VS.

When asked about TP’s wife K K Rema, he said, “if she is sad, let her find a solution to her problem by herself. Those who have pained Rema are still in power. It is media that has made the TP issue a celebration. What I want to tell Rema is not to trust people like Thiruvanchoor.”

VS said what media should focus is more serious issues like price rise and pending welfare scheme pensions, instead of Saritha or TP.

Rivals worried about CPM’s unity: Pinarayi

KOCHI: CPM State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the CPM’s preparedness to fight the Lok Sabha election with revived strength and unity has given butterflies in the stomach of its political rivals.

“People who have till now tired to ruin the party are a desperate lot now. Abuses and curses emanating from different corners are those coming out this dejection,” said Pinarayi after inaugurating the renovated Ernakulam CPM District Committee office.     
Once again taking a dig at KPCC president V M Sudheeran, he said the latter was praising Vajpayee to appease BJP voters.  

He said, in the history of Lok Sabha elections, the biggest blow is awaiting the UDF. “At national level, the Congress will get reduced to two digit figure with respect to the number Lok Sabha seats it would win. The inability of the Congress to find solutions to burning issues will also cast its spell on all states during the election,” he said.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Wayanad forest fire was man-made: Thiruvanchoor

WAYANAD: Forest Minister Thirvanchoor Radhakrishnan has said that a recent Forest fire incident in Wayanad was man-made. The initial report he received on fire has reference to that fact. Stern action will be taken against those who had plotted to set forest on fire after a detailed probe into the incident.   

“Such fires have also been reported from the Karnataka side. A decision on joint probe by both Kerala and Karnataka, which has common borders, will be taken after consulting the chief minister,” said the minister during his visit to fire affected forest areas in Wayanad.

Search is on for missing student

KOCHI: A Plus Two student who jumped into the lake from Venduruthy bridge has gone missing. He has been identified as Abhilash (18), a student of Palluruthy SDPY school and son of Lalan from Perumbadappu Vellayikkode Nikarthil.

The incident happened at 7:30 on Thursday morning near Shipyard. Some eye witnesses have said that the boy jumped off the bridge after leaving his two bags on the bridge. Soon South Police reached the spot but they could not save the boy.

The police came to know about the boy’s whereabouts when they searched his bags.
Later, Navy’s diving squads were called in and the search for the boy is going on. The reason for the boy’s misdemeanour is not known.  

VS nation’s top CPM leader: Pinarayi

KOLLAM: CPM State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has said that Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan is one of CPM’s top national leaders. Media should resist from cutting VS down to size.

Addressing a meet the press programme at Kollam Press Club, he said VS’ stands had always helped the strengthening of the party.
Pinarayi said he was still flummoxed over Sudheeran’s statements hailing former Prime Minister Vajpayee. “Vajpayee appeared in BJP for the first time in RSS uniform. He has never criticised RSS policies. During Gujarat riots, the then President K R Narayanan had written to Vajpayee to take some immediate steps to curb the violence, but it all fell on deaf ears. Vajpayee also didn’t come forward to snub Modi in the context of Gujarat riot. Thus, Vajpayee is a leader who implemented the policies of RSS. The Congress may dare to extol Vajpayee, but in that, Sudheeran may be nurturing some other hidden agenda,” Pinarayi explained.

VS’ stands are below standard: Thiruvanchoor

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Forest Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan has said that Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan’s stands including that on T P lacked basic standard.

“His stands were like that of witnesses who turned hostile. His plan is to continue in the party “holding on to its tail”. VS should clarify for what purpose he did change his stand. It was like, selling TP for meat,” said Thiruvanchoor   

On Thursday, V S had said that RMP had turned into Congress’ tail and Rema had called off her Kerala Yatra at the behest of Thiruvanchoor.

Changes in cabinet post LS polls: Chandy

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Chief Minster Oommen Chandy on Thursday hinted at some changes in the cabinet of ministers after the Lok Sabha election. “ But nothing can be disclosed about it now. Lot of discussions will have to happen and high command’s permission will also have to be taken,” he said at a Press Club’s election-related programme.       

Refusing to talk about what transpired between him and Kerala Congress B Chairman R Balakrishna Pillai in the morning meeting between the two, Chandy said it was not the right time to discuss Ganesh Kumar’s re-entry into the Cabinet.   

PT Thomas had withdrawn from the electoral battle on his own. But he was also ready to contest the election, Chandy said in reply to a question. “Thomas stepped aside just to see more representation from the Youth Congress. And, it was KPCC president V M Sudheeran who made Thomas in charge of Kasargod constituency,” he added.

RSP came for talks after pact with UDF, says Pinarayi

KOLLAM: Before coming to hold talks with the Left Front, the RSP had made a pact with the UDF, said CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.  Talking at the election programme organized at the Kollam Press Club, he said they cheated us politically.

The version of the RSP that the CPM took a unilateral decision is totally baseless. As the RSP was contesting in the Kollam seat for three times, they very well knew the seat will not be given this time and that is why they failed to attend the LDF meet.

They did not come for the bilateral talks convened instead they came to sever ties with us.
N K Premachandran was elected to the Rajya Sabha once and had twice contested to the Lok Sabha. He later became a state minister. CPM is not responsible for his defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.

Pinarayi said the NCP will not leave the Left Front but some from the party may have held talks for that. There is nothing wrong in fielding independent candidates in the polls. The privacy of individuals should be considered. There is no meaning in terming it as payment seat. Dr Bennet Abraham and Christy Fernandes had led a decent official life and there are no accusations against them. If anyone wants to stain them they can do that, he said.

VS’ remark 52nd injury sustained by TP: Rema

KOZHIKODE: RMP leader and wife of T P Chandrasekharan K K Rema has said that Opposition leader V S Achuthanadan’s recent change of stand was the “52nd injury sustained by slain RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan”.   

She said VS’ remark was aimed at saving the face of CPM. “RMP was not founded foreseeing VS support. My Kerala yatra was called back due to specific reasons. Now Achuthanandan is existing for the sake of Karat and Pinarayi. And, the present VS stand will backfire. People will shun VS and he will get isolated, ” said Rema.

Rema was responding to the VS’ remark that RMP was subservient to the Congress Party.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Kilimanoor accident: Second victim also dies

KILIMANOOR: Second victim in the Kilimanoor Mahadeveshwaram Junction accident succumbed to injuries on Wednesday morning.
The deceased was Vishnu alias Harikrishnan, 20, a resident of Kailasam kunnu Vilangara J K Bhavan. He was under treatment in Gokulam Medical College.

Another victim of the accident Anu alias Aneesh, 25, from Malakkal, Panappamkunnu Mavuvila Vipanchika had died on Tuesday.

The incident happened at 4pm on the day when both were travelling on bike from Kilimanoor to Thattathumala. They met with the accident when they tried to overtake a Maruthi car. A jeep that came in the opposite direction knocked them down. Since the Maruthi car had applied sudden break they were not run over by the car.

The fall turned out to be fatal as there was severe loss of blood from head injuries. They lay on the road for about 10 minutes in that condition before they were shifted to Gokulam medical college in a jeep. In between some one had tried to call ‘108’ ambulance but it failed to reach the spot in time to save the victims. Aneesh died on Wednesday and Harikrishnan died today.

Prof T J Joseph’s wife commits suicide

KOCHI: Salomi (48), wife of Prof T J Joseph, accused of hurting religious sentiments through a question he framed for an internal examination at Newman College in Thodupuzha, was found hanging at her residence on Wednesday.

The body has been shifted to a hospital in Moovattupuzha. The police have registered a case.

A group of people with alleged links to Muslim extremists had chopped off his right palm on July 4, 2010.

CPM trying to woo Berlin?

KOZHIKODE/KANNUR: Stage is set for the return of Berlin Kunjanandan Nair to the CPM, who had to leave the party as he could not get along with it ideologically. CPM has welcomed in good spirit Berlin’s recent harsh criticism against RMP, paving way for his likely return to the party fold.

The other day Berlin said that the RMP had become a B team of Congress and their only agenda was T P Chandrasekharan murder. “Rema’s indefinite strike in front of Secretariat, demanding a CBI inquiry into the murder, was a ploy carried out in connivance with the UDF. RMP has even fielded candidates just to help the UDF” Berlin said in his statement.    

CPM Politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has welcomed Berlin’s statement. “Berlin has done many contributions to the party. But in the 2009 election he sided with UDF and now it is nice that he has come to realise his mistakes. The party will welcome all those who come back after quitting the party,” he said.

However, Berlin has his own reservations about returning to the party. “When those people who had sacked me call me back, I will have to think about it… I didn’t resign from the party or leave it. But due to my ideological differences with it, I was sacked,” he said adding that his attempts were now to ensure the victory of P K Sreemathi in Kannur as well as other LDF candidates.  

Rs 60 lakh fake note haul in Thiruvananthapuram

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With Lok Sabha election round the corner, the police have seized fake notes to the tune of Rs 60 lakh.

The fake notes were found from a house in Pettah Akshara Veedhi lane, a garment shop in Chalai Aryasala and fancy shop. Five persons including a native of Tamil Nadu have been arrested in this connection. They have been handed over to Income Tax department. A marwadi who stacked the money is being questioned.

Anas, Shamsuddhin, Asainar, and Anas from Kozhikode Koduvalli and Alexander from Marthandam were arrested.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Charter flights to bring home Kerala's voters

DUBAI: A Dubai-based Indian organisation plans to charter flights for Kerala voters who wish to vote in the next month’s Lok Sabha elections.

The Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), which has 50,300 members in the UAE - 20,500 of whom are in Dubai would be flying Keralites, eligible to vote, on April 10.

“It is a one-way ticket on discounted rates to Kozhikode district. We are in talks with a private company as well as Air India and Air India Express to charter the flights. The facility is exclusively for Keralites,” Ebrahim Elettil, general secretary of the KMCC, told Gulf News.

He said the facility is available not for KMCC members only but also for non-members, provided they are from Kerala.

The organisation was founded by expatriates from Kerala with the aim of extending humanitarian and legal assistance to those in need.

The number of chartered flights operating will depend on the number of people who come forward to register for the facility, he said. “The private company is charging Rs 8,319 per person for 165 people, while the other two airlines from India are charging Rs 12,477 per person to fly 180 people and Rs 9,981 to fly 180 people respectively,” Elettil said.

Elettil, however, said the KMCC will not have any influence on voters who use the charter flight services. “An individual is free to vote for whoever they wish. Our only aim is to make sure that Keralites living here get an opportunity to exercise their voting rights,” he said.

Salim not in list of ‘criminal’ cops

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former gunman of chief minister Oommen Chandy Salim Raj has been excluded from the list of policemen involved in criminal cases.

The current list was prepared by the home ministry after Ramesh Chennithala became the home minister. The list came out on March 3.

Salim had courted arrest in Chevayoor in Kozhikode for trying to kidnap his friend’s wife. He is also an accused in land grab cases in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.

If UDF loses election, I’ll be responsible: Chandy

KASARGODE: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that if Kerala’s UDF candidates bite the dust in the coming Lok Sabha election, he will take the moral responsibility for the failure.     

“There is no change in the view that the poll result will also be an evaluation of State government’s performance. I’m sure that we will win the election,” said the chief minister  

When asked whether he will resign if the UDF loses the election, Chandy said he was not able to answer such hypothetical questions.

He said that words used by Balram MLA to criticise Idukki bishop went against cultural values. No body should use such words. “Anybody can criticise the Congress and we’ll accept the best part of it,” he added.

Kasturirangan: Draft notification released

NEW DELHI: Union Ministry of Forests and Environment released the draft notification on the Kasturirangan report in connection with the conservation of the Western Ghats. The report has not mentioned anything about the ecologically sensitive areas but is likely to be included in the final notification. The people can express their opinion on the report within 60 days and the final notification will be released after considering it.

The ecologically sensitive area spread over an area of 13,108 sq kilometer in the Kasturirangan report has been reduced to 9993.7 sq km in the draft notification. Out of that, 9107 sq km is forest area and 887.6 sq km of non-forest area.

Mining, quarrying and sand mining in ecologically sensitive areas have been banned. All existing mines shall be phased out within five years. No new thermal power projects and expansion of existing plants shall be allowed in the ecologically sensitive area.  Building construction and townships will be prohibited. New hydropower projects shall be allowed as per the environment impact assessment notification.

If Dean loses, Balram will have to take the blame: Youth Congress

IDUKKI: MLA V T Balram, on Tuesday, came under strong criticism at the Youth Congress meeting for his recent ‘wretched creature’ remark aimed at Idukki Bishop Mar Mathew Anikuzhikattil. The leaders asserted that if Idukki UDF candidate Dean Kuriakose happened to lose the electoral battle, the party would squarely blame Balram for it.
In the meeting chaired by Youth Congress State vice-president K C Mahesh Kumar, the criticism that came up was that he acted like mythical character Bhasmasuran who got boon from Lord Siva.   

The leaders said that Balram could have made such a critical comment as soon as it was decided not to give Lok Sabha seat to P T Thomas. And, comments made after Dean was made the candidate could let situations spin out of control for the party.

Gangster Pravu Vinod 'caged'

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A notorious gangster and his team involved in many cases have been arrested. A warrant has been issued against Vinod included in the goonda list. Many cases have been registered against him in Peroorkada, Nedumangad and Aruvikkara stations. He is an accused in an attempt to murder  two CPM leaders and a cop of the AR Camp.

Vinod is suspected to be involved in the incident where seven lorries were damaged in Aruvikkara yesterday for not giving money. A team led by Vinod reached the crusher a week before and demanded money. Their demand was that each lorry coming out of the crusher should pay them Rs 150. But they were not willing to give money.

Even after threatening them, they were not willing to comply. The goons in a fit of rage attacked the lorries yesterday.

Chandy crooked, says Pinarayi

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is using his crooked mind to retain government in the state, said CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. He will not succeed this time. The chief minister’s statement that he will take the responsibility if lost is his ploy, Pinarayi said at the commemoration programme of E M S Namboodiripad.

Pinarayi said, “The congress will reduce to a two-digit party after the polls. The Congress and the UDF will face a big defeat. All sections of the people in the state are against the congress. The present situation is that the congress will not win in any seat. The people should be more alert in the coming days. The congress will try to sabotage the poll results by throwing money.”

The BJP’s desire to gain power after defeating Congress and the UPA will not accomplish. The BJP will not be able to earn enough Lok Sabha members to assume power. A secular front led by CPI (M) will be formed alternative to congress and BJP after the polls.     

Pinarayi raps Sudheeran for comparing Vajpayee to Nehru

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPM State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has said that KPCC president V M Sudheeran’s statements comparing former Prime Minister Vajpayee to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was a challenge to nation’s democratic foundation.

“Anyone who studies Indian politics will not see even a shadow of Nehru in Vajpayee or Advani. Even then, Sudheeren, who saw Nehru’s face in BJP leaders, was trying to please BJP in order to garner votes,” Pinarayi wrote on the Facebook.   

He called upon all democratic-anti-communal groups to come together and defeat BJP’s “communal stand and their aim to spread that after coming into power”.

Governor’s post offered to Peethambaran Master

KOTTAYAM: NCP state chief T P Peethambaran Master has been offered the Governor’s post if a decision to leave the Left Front is announced. Party national president Sharad Pawar has asked the state unit to inform at the earliest whether to leave the Left Front or not. The promise will be fulfilled if the UPA Government assumes power again.

It is heard that the directive was suggested by Pawar at the talks held in Goa. There is nothing wrong in being with the LDF now but after the Lok Sbaha polls the state unit will have to follow the political stand announced by the NCP central leadership.

The party national general secretary and state president Peethambaran Master will resign his post and another person will replace him when they leave the Front.

The party having two MLAs is trying to keep them on their side.  But Uzhavoor Vijayan and A K Saseendran MLA have announced to be with the Left Front. They are also trying to bring Thomas Chandy MLA along with them. Talks are on and a decision will be taken only after the polls.

Meantime, party leaders are refuting everything.

Chandy blames media, pooh poohs solar scam

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With general elections only weeks away, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has tried to give a clean chit to himself in the Rs.70 million solar scam, even as he slammed the media in the state as "negative and sensational".

The 70-year-old Chandy, in his second stint as chief minister, spoke to IANS -- his first interview to the media since the announcement of the Lok Sabha polls.

Chandy blamed the Left opposition for hyping the solar scam through their protests, when it was 'exposed' in 2013, but insisted that with time everything had fallen flat.

"We announced a judicial probe and till now they (opposition) have not been able to bring out anything on the scam. They tried their best to make political capital and all their protests to keep this issue alive not only failed but also did not yield any result," said Chandy.

The chief minister's office had been at the centre of the scam in which three of Chandy's staffers were linked to Saritha Nair, one of the key accused in the scandal. Nair, along with her live-in partner, is accused of cheating many investors promising to supply them solar panels worth millions of rupees.

Chandy lashed out at the media in Kerala for being negative and prone to sensationalism, leaving little scope for reporting on developmental issues.

"I am not saying they (media) have been unfair to me. It's the same when it comes to other parties and political personalities. I know they have nothing political or personal but it's just that they only want to sensationalise news," Chandy said.

The chief minister, however, said he does not rely on the media alone as far as popular outreach is concerned.

"While they (media) want controversies, I want results. A stage has come that I now ignore all that surfaces in the media. I have also worked out a strategy where I myself try to reach out to the people in various ways. For that I have to work harder and I am doing just that."

Asked about his party's prospects in the Lok Sabha polls, his face lit up. "History is going to repeat, and it would be even better than the 2009 result."

In 2009, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) secured 16 of the 20 seats. The Left Democratic Front (LDF) managed four.

Nearing the halfway period in power in Kerala, Chandy also expressed confidence in his governance and the achievements clocked in that period.

"Even before anyone asked or said it, I was the first to announce that the coming election will be a referendum on my government. I am very confident because everything is positive as there are no issues in my party and in the UDF. People here know what we have done," said Chandy.

Responding to the political challenge posed by the Kasturirangan report on the Western Ghats, which triggered a stir in the hilly districts of Kerala like Idukki and Wayanad, Chandy said the government went out of the way to work out a solution.

This was something, he claimed, no other state affected by the findings of the green report had done.

The chief minister said the wooing of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), which quit the Left alliance after for over three decades, was not a case of political opportunism.

"We made it very clear to them (RSP) that there will be no talks with them until they exit LDF. We commenced talks with them after they formally announced their decision to come out."

Goons damage seven lorries

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Goons damaged seven lorries at Aruvikkara after crusher unit workers refused to give them money. The incident happened at around 7 in the morning near Koyikkadavu bridge. Eight miscreants had come on four bikes, wearing helmets. The number plates of the bikes were smeared with black oil.

The lorries were loading metals and rock sand when the attack happened. The goons then hounded away the drivers and workers before smashing the lorries. The police started investigation only after the crusher unit workers lodged a complaint with police.

Gas cylinder blast: One more succumbs to injuries

THRISSUR: One more person succumbed to his injuries sustained when a gas cylinder at a jewellery making unit at Mulangal, near Puthukkad, exploded on Monday. He has been identified as Dhanesh (20) of Palakkad. One person identified as Sanju (23) of Palakkad died yesterday.

The condition of Girish (26) of Palakkad, Prasad (35), Vijay Krishna (33), Haridas (45) of Mulangal, Sanjay (21), Pappy (22), Pappy (18) Subeesh (31), Simur (23) and Bappu (23) of Bengal is serious.

The jewellery shop owned by Balan was functioning on the upstairs of a house.

TP murder: Report publicized will benefit CPM, says VS

ALAPPUZHA: The party investigation commission’s report publicized in the murder of RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan will benefit the CPM in the polls, said opposition leader V S Achuthanandan. Talking to the media, he said that he is satisfied with the findings of the report.

TP’s family suspected that the murder was committed with the initiative of the CPI (M). It is not the practice of the CPM to kill its own activists. Party general secretary Prakash Karat had stated that if the party activists are involved in the case, then they will be ousted from the party. On the basis of that, K C Ramachandran was ousted from the party.

There is nothing wrong in fielding independent candidates in the polls. Mundassery Master and Krishna Iyer were independents in the E M S Government in 1956, VS said in reply to a question on fielding independent candidates.

RSP leaving the Front will not affect in the polls. RSP leader N K Premachandran, who took part in the strike against the chief minister in the solar case, joined the congress one day, VS said sarcastically.  

I’ve never said the winning chance of the LDF is less. When campaign becomes stronger, I will opine more on that.  I stick to my stand and the media twisted my former statement, he said.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mathew T Thomas named Dal candidate in Kottayam

BANGALORE:  Mathew T Thomas MLA of Janata Dal (S) has been chosen as the candidate in the Kottayam Lok Sabha seat. The announcement of his candidature was made by party national chief H D Deve Gowda in Bangalore. Jose K Mani and advocate Nobel Mathew are the UDF and BJP candidates here.

Thomas agreed to contest following severe pressure from party national leadership. Till yesterday, the name of advocate George Thomas, party senior president, was heard. The name of Benny Kurien, state panel member, was also included in the panel prepared by the state panel. But the central leadership took a strong stand to field Mathew T Thomas. The leadership assessed that only Mathew T Thomas would be perfect as a challenger for Jose K Mani of the Kerala Congress. 

Kodiyeri blames T P murder on Chandy, police

KOZHIKODE: CPM Politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said that T P was murdered since there was police protection for him. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is responsible for TP’s murder.

The former home minister asked why TP was not given the police protection now being given to RMP leaders. During the LDF government’s tenure, he used to get the protection.

State shifts to campaign mode, leaders prefer social media

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With ruling Congress-led UDF and CPI (M)-headed opposition LDF announcing candidates for the April 10 Lok Sabha polls, Kerala has shifted to campaign mode with candidates focusing on social media in the initial phase.

Though the traditional mode of canvassing such as door-to-door campaign, public meetings and wall writings are yet to pick up, most of the candidates have begun their campaign on micro-blogging sites with postings requesting votes.

In the forefront is Union Minister Shashi Tharoor who has posted in the Facebook a detailed report of his achievements as an MP in his constituency Thiruvananthapuram.

He also posted pictures of visiting a temple and mosque and seeking the blessings of Cardinal Baselios Mar Cleemis before embarking on his campaign.

CPI (M) sitting MP P K Biju, who seeks a second chance from Alathur, tagged his campaign posters, party symbol and pictures of his meeting with voters in his official Facebook page.

Majority of the candidates began their campaign by visiting religious heads and worship centres irrespective of their belief. Many also visited community leaders and political veterans.

Soaring humidity has come as a hurdle for holding public meetings and door-to-door campaigns this time in view of approaching summer.

In a bid to overcome the scorching heat, certain event management groups have come out with hi-tech mobile caravans with facilities including air condition for candidates. Make-shift ‘pandals’ are also on demand this time, party sources said.

AICC Chief Sonia Gandhi and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi are scheduled to arrive in the state for a campaign, which expected to boost the prospects of UDF. National leaders of CPI (M) and the BJP are also expected in the coming days.

CBI court orders further probe into Happy Rajesh murder

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  The Thiruvananthapuram CBI court has ordered an inquiry into the possible link between the murder attempt case of journalist V B Unnithan and the murder of contract killer gang member Happy Rajesh.

A murder attempt was made against Unnithan in Shasthamkotta on April 16, 2011. 13 days later killer gang member Happy Rajesh was found murdered in an auto rickshaw. Earlier, there were allegations that DySPs Abdul Rasheed and Santhosh Nair, accused in the Unnithan murder attempt case, had connection with the murder of Happy Rajesh.       
In the raid conducted in the house of suspended DySP Santhosh Nair, the CBI is to have found out important evidence in this regard.

Kumaran kutty is Vadakara RMP candidate

KOZHIKODE: Advocate P Kumaran Kutty will contest the Lok Sabha election from Vadakara as the RMP candidate. Kutty, who is also a former DYFI District President, had contested the last Lok Sabha election from Kozhikode and at that time the late RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan was the Vadakara candidate.

RMP will support the Independent candidates in Wayanad and Malappuram constituencies. The candidates for Ponnani and Palakkad will be declared on Sunday.
Other candidates are: Advocate Prathap kumar (Kozhikode), P P Mohanan (Kannur), K K Ashokan (Kasargod), M U Aalbin (Alathur) and Suseelan (Attingal).

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sudheeran disapproves Chacko

ALAPPUZHA: KPCC chief V M Sudheeran Saturday contradicted the statement of AICC spokesperson P C Chacko that the situation is not favourable for the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls at the national level. Attending a programme organized by the Alappuzha Press Club, Sudheeran said he is against the statement of Chacko and don’t know in which context he said that.

Sudheeran asked party activists not to make any derogatory statements. There are victory chances for the congress in the polls. If anybody is making any statements defaming the winning chance, action will be taken against them.  

The congress had taken a fair approach towards the allied parties and a due consideration was given while allocating seats. Women were given seats. A solution will be found on the problems voiced by the Rajan Babu faction of the JSS after consulting with the UDF, he said.

P C Chacko has doubts about Congress victory

KOCHI: AICC spokesperson P C Chacko has said that the current political climate in the national was not favourable to the Congress party and therefore the party cannot rubbish the party’s possibility to sit in the Opposition. Even if receives a setback in election at national level, the Congress will make some progress in Kerala.

Chacko was taking part in the election debate organised by Ernakulam Press Club on Saturday.
Chacko said: The UPA government has failed in reaching out to the people to inform them about its achievements. The party also failed to check allegations of corruption. The Prime Minister often shied away from facing the media and this has drawn several criticisms. Many in the cabinet have urged the prime minister to talk to media about his government’s administrative achievements, at least once in a week. This suggestion was raised even in AICC meet. But for some reason or other, the prime minister had not given in to that suggestion.

LDF won't get back even security deposit in Idukki: K M Mani

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Taking a dig at the Left parties, Kerala Congress (M) chairman and Finance Minister K M Mani has said that the LDF will not get back even the security deposit in the coming Lok Sabha election. Dean Kuriakose will be seen as his party’s own candidate and he will work for his victory.  
“Idukki seat is the soul of Kerala Congress. In the case of seat, it has not expressed any displeasure. In the election, the party has compromised its ambitions for the victory of the UDF,” Mani said, adding “in the politics of Fronts, compromises are natural”.
Mani said the LDF had lost its sheen to lure people; instead it had been repelling people, forcing them to ditch the Front. Weirdness in LDF policies was to blame. “Only UPA government is fit to run a stable government,” he added.