Thrissur: Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala has called for a judicial inquiry into the issue of masala bonds to a company associated with SNC-Lavalin in Canada to raise funds for the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).
Alluding to the Congress slogan ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ against Prime Min-ister Narendra Modi in the Rafale scam, Chennithala said that in the case of the masala bonds, the state chowkidar was also a ‘chor.’
Addressing reporters at the Press Club here on Friday, he said, “Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Finance Minister Thomas Isaac are lying in their explanations about the masala bonds. By issuing masala bonds at high interest rates to a firm associated with SNC-Lavalin, which is facing legal cases over an alleged scam in the renovation of three power projects in Kerala, the LDF government has surrendered the tax payers’ money to the Canadian firm. The no-rms of issuing the bonds will become a heavy financial burden on the state,” Chennithala said.
He asked Vijayan and Isaac to share the documents on the masala bonds with four UDF MLAs who would conduct a scrutiny.
“It is suspicious why the Lavalin firm was issued bonds at high interest rates as it was possible to issue them at less interest through the London Stock Exchange. I have handed over a letter to the CM citing all these matters, but he has not replied,” Che-nnithala said.
He refuted the allegations that a section of Congressmen in Thiruva-nathapuram was slowpedalling the poll campaign of Shashi Tharoor and added that Tharoor had not approached the Congress high command citing such an issue.
“The Congress will join hands with secular parties after the polls to keep the BJP and NDA out of power,” he said....