Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Kerala Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty over the now cancelled deep sea fishing project.
Speaking to the media here, Chennithala said the conspiracy to sell the Kerala seas was a decision taken by Mercykutty, State Industries Minister E.P.Jayarajan with the blessings of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
“The key conspirator in this flawed deal was led by Mercykutty and, hence she has to resign as she was the one who first started talks with the US company way back in 2018 during her US visit. Later, she took the top officials of this US firm to meet with Vijayan and that was how this entire deal, which if had materialised would have finished off the livelihood of our fisher folks,” said Chennithala.
The US headquartered EMCC, which has an Indian partner, was the company which had entered into an MoU with Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation for making 400 trawlers and five big ships.
This company also was given a four acre plot of land by Jayarajan’s industries department.
“We are told that the MoU has been cancelled but there is no word about cancelling the land that has been given to this company. We demand every deal be cancelled and a judicial probe be ordered as we have no faith in the probe by senior bureaucrat –T.K.Jose. His report will not be credible as the key villains include two State Ministers and Vijayan,” said Chennithala.
Chennithala also pointed out that they are launching a series of protests to press their demands which includes a day-long protest on Thursday at Poonthura — a coastal hamlet in the capital district which would be led by him.
“Two coastal rallies, one led by former Minister Shibhu Baby John will pass through all the coastal constituencies from Thiruvananthapuram to Ernakulam, while another one led by Congress MP, T.N. Prathapan will start from Kasargode and both these rallies will reach Ernakulam on March 7,” added Chennithala.
Chennithala said had he not voiced his concerns over this flawed project, the Vijayan government would have gone forward and would have finished off the fisheries sector as this is nothing but big cheating of the hapless fisher folk.
“We will provide our full support to the coastal ‘hartal’ called by the fisher folk and boat owners on Saturday against this project,” added Chennithala.