Thiruvananthapuram, April 19 (IANS) Taking on the traditional rivals, the Kerala BJP state president K. Surendran on Sunday said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his predecessor Oommen Chandy are the same when it comes to corruption.

“With the Sprinklr data scam now coming out, Vijayan’s office is working in the same way as what happened when Congress leader Oommen Chandy was the CM. It’s corruption that’s happening form the family and their offices,” said Surendran while speaking to the media. He demanded a CBI probe into this data scam.

It was the Congress, which brought out the now raging data scam with regard to the transfer of Covid-19 suspects to a US-based PR and marketing firm Sprinklr.

The IT department is headed by Vijayan and the IT secretary M. Sivasankar is also the secretary to Vijayan.

“What Sivasankar said yesterday is a lie. Vijayan should now come clean on this data controversy,” added Surendran.

Sivasankar on Saturday was seen running to various TV channels to give interviews where he took the entire responsibility on himself about the data transfer to the US firm and said it was his call.

Meanwhile, State Law Minister A.K. Balan came down strongly on the opposition and accused it of trying to destroy the image of Vijayan.

“The CM’s stock rose hugely in the way he handled the Covid-19 situation. Now they are out to tarnish his image as elections are round the corner. The IT department is competent to handle this. It’s not a must that all files need to be vetted by the law department and there is no need for the cabinet to clear this,” said Balan.

But former Chief Secretary Jiji Thompson termed this as something strange.

“The general norm according to business rules of the government is, first a file has to originate from the IT department, then it has to be sent to the various departments like health, local self government, revenue and finance. Then it has to be put before the cabinet with a cabinet note file. I am surprised nothing of this sort happened in this case,” said Thompson.

RSP Lok Sabha member N.K. Premachandran, a former State Minister in the V.S. Achuthanandan cabinet (2006-11- now his party is in the Congress-led UDF) termed the Sprinklr deal as a shady one which was kept under the dark.

“I was a State Minister and precisely know how files originate and in this case, where are the files. This controversy can be laid to rest, if the Vijayan government releases all the government files. All what has come out is only the letters and agreements of Sprinklr. This is a shady deal and the Chief Minister has to come out and speak,” said Premachandran.

–IANS

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