Thiruvananthapuram, July 20 (IANS) Kerala BJP chief Kummanem Rajasekheran on Thursday denied any links of the party with an alleged medical college scam, even as the issue rocked Parliament.
In a statement, Rajasekheran said media reports on the alleged involvement of the BJP in Kerala in taking bribes in lieu of promising Medical Council of India recognition for a private college “has nothing to do with our party”.
“BJP is a party that deals with corruption in a very strong manner. In this particular issue, the party will discuss it at the appropriate forum and strict action will be taken, if needed. But what’s being heard now has got nothing to do with our party,” said Rajasekheran.
Former state BJP president V. Muraleedharan said the party will be holding a core group meeting on Friday, when the issue is likely to be taken up.
State BJP general secretary M.T. Ramesh, whose name figures in the report, denied any involvement in the medical college scam.
The lawmakers from Kerala have demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi reply to the allegations that the owner of a medical college in Thiruvananthapuram district had paid Rs 5.60 crore as bribe to Kerala-based BJP leaders for influencing the Medical Council of India (MCI).
The revelations came in the wake of an internal BJP two-member committee report which is alleged to have been leaked from the office of the Kerala BJP chief Rajasekheran.
Kerala lawmakers from the Left and the Congress angrily protested in the Lok Sabha after being denied permission to take up the report in the House.
The motion moved by CPI-M leader M.B. Rajesh and Congress leader K.C. Venugopal, but it was disallowed.
Rajesh told the media “This scam involves not just the Kerala BJP leaders but also the national BJP leaders.”
“This is a case where money was paid as bribe to get favours from the MCI and hence this scam has larger dimensions,” said Rajesh.
Venugopal said it was strange that while the national BJP leadership speaks against corruption and black money, their own internal committee that went into the allegations found that money has changed hands. He said the money was paid in Delhi through the hawala route.
“This report was kept under wraps for a while, which shows that the state’s top BJP leadership knew what was going on,” said Venugopal.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala told reporters in north Kerala that only a probe would reveal the truth in the matter.
“This is nothing but the tip of the iceberg, and there is no doubt the national BJP leaders are involved in this scam,” said Chennithala.
In a related development Vellapally Natesan, founding patron of the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, a key ally of the BJP-led NDA said “What’s happening in the Kerala unit of the BJP is a ‘fight’ between those who got the money and those who didn’t.”
Over the years, the state unit of the BJP has been facing factional feuds, which has led to concern in the national leadership.