Congress holds 'satyagraha' demanding removal of Kerala Minister

Congress holds satyagraha demanding removal of Kerala Minister

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress on Thursday launched a 'satyagraha' protest at Poonthura, a fishing hamlet near here, demanding removal of Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma in connection with an alleged deep sea fishing deal between the government and a US-based firm.

By launching the day-long stir, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala also wanted the government to carry out a judicial probe into the alleged conspiracy behind the controversial agreement and remove the reported changes made in favour of the firm, EMCC International, in the fisheries' policy of the state.

In view of the raging controversy, the Left government, the other day, decided to cancel two MoUs singed with the company and ordered an internal inquiry on the circumstances under which such a deal was signed.

The step was taken reportedly to avoid further controversies, with the opposition levelling fresh charges and bringing out what they term as "evidence" almost every day.

"The probe ordered by the government under principal secretary T K Jose is not acceptable.

Because he is the secretary and can a deal be signed in the state without the knowledge of the secretary and the Chief Minister?" the Congress leader asked.

Urging the government to order a judicial probe into the matter, Chennithala said if the CM did not know anything, what is the point of him sitting in that chair.

If the opposition had not raised the matter, the cabinet would have given consent to the deal, which would have adversely impacted the lives of lakhs of fishermen in the state, he told reporters at Poonthura.

KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran inaugurated the satyagraha, which would continue till 4 pm.

AICC general secretary Tariq Anwar would open the concluding session.

The state government had first decided to cancel the MoU signed for the Rs 2950 crore-worth project between EMCC International and Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC).

On Wednesday, they also resolved to nullify another pact, worth Rs 5000 crore, with the US-based firm.

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