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Walk-out over graft expose

The opposition walked out of the Kerala assembly yesterday to protest the denial of an adjournment motion on an exposé on corruption in the irrigation department.

Gulf News

Thiruvananthapuram: The opposition walked out of the Kerala assembly yesterday to protest the denial of an adjournment motion on an exposé on corruption in the irrigation department.

The exposé broadcast on Thursday on a private television channel following a sting operation showed a chief engineer in the department allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs25,000 (Dh2,083).

The footage acquired by the Kairali People channel showed the engineer, T.K. Sasi, allegedly agreeing to accept the bribe from a person claiming to be a friend of a contractor for an irrigation project and allowing that person to leave the money on his table.

Raising the matter in the assembly, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan of the Communist Party of India-Marxist said the exposé confirmed the allegation that corruption was rampant in the government. "Former chief secretary Vijayanunni had stated that there was corruption among ministers and bureaucrats. Now that has been proved on camera," Balakrishnan said.

Opposition leader V.S. Achuthanandan, also of the CPI-M, demanded a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge into all major deals in the irrigation department over the past many years.

Replying to the allegations, minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said the government would under no circumstance protect any corrupt official.

He promised an inquiry into the matter.

The explanations did not satisfy the opposition and when the speaker refused a motion on the issue, they walked out.

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