Kerala Assembly elections | Chennithala says LDF favoured Adani group to curry favour with Centre

The Opposition Leader alleges the move was to avert ‘prosecution by Central agencies investigating the UAE consulate-linked gold smuggling case’.

Opposition Leader in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala has alleged that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had awarded a lucrative power purchase contract to the Gujarat-based Adani group to avert “prosecution by Central agencies investigating the UAE consulate-linked gold smuggling case”.

In Alappuzha, he said the LDF government had “surreptitiously” entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with Adani Green Energy.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) had brokered the deal. Adani group has to supply power at an “exaggerated” tariff rate of ₹ 2.82 per unit for the next 25 years. The “lopsided” deal was a drain on the public exchequer. Adani group shared a “special relationship” with the BJP’s national leadership, he alleged.

The State government had abandoned cheaper solar power for Adani’s costlier wind energy to favour the private group proximate to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he charged.

Mr. Chennithala said the administration had also slashed its quota of solar power to facilitate the ₹8,758-crore deal. The agreement had benefited the Adani group immensely. For one, its share price went up after signing the contract with the Kerala government, he claimed.

International airport

The LDF government had also facilitated Adani take over the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport to “curry favour with the Centre”. The State government’s opposition to the airport takeover was “mere tokenism” meant to hoodwink the electorate. It had rigged the bid to oblige the Adani group, Mr. Chennithala alleged.

The Central agencies seemed to have rolled back their investigation against the State’s political executive, he claimed. The Adani group had emerged as the intermediary between the CPI(M)-led LDF and the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. The “arrangement” explained Central agencies’ hesitation to move against those at the Kerala government’s apex.

Multiple investigations into the gold case had reached the doorstep of the Chief Minister’s Office. Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan was under a cloud of suspicion. Court filings based on the accused’s confessional statements pointed to the State’s top political executive’s involvement in the case, he said.

The CPI(M) did the exact opposite of what it preached. The party had sermonised against private capital. Nevertheless, it brazenly had allowed a U.S.-based big data analytics firm to mine the personal medical information of lakhs of Keralites under the pretext of studying COVID-19 pandemic transmission pattern. The firm could monetise the data by selling it to global players in the health and pharmaceutical sectors.

Lately, the LDF government had attempted to sell the high-seas to a U.S.-based mega fishing company, potentially jeopardising the livelihood of traditional fishers. However, the UDF had halted the move by exposing the move, Mr. Chennithala said.

In Kannur, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said there was nothing secretive about the power purchase agreement. The deal was finalised in 2019 through the Central government, and details published online. Mr. Chennithala imagined corruption where it did not exist, he said. The LDF was traditionally against allowing foreign trawlers into Indian waters. The Kerala government had never wavered from the policy, he said.

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