Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 10 | In a point to point rebuttal of all allegations levelled by the Congress and the BJP, Kerala Assembly Speaker P.Sreeramakrishnan on Thursday ruled out his resignation.
“I have done no wrong, so why should I resign,” asked the soft spoken Sreeramakrishnan, while addressing the media, the first time since allegations made against him nearly a week ago.
Earlier in the day, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and State BJP president K.Surendran went hammer and tongs against the Speaker, and the latter demanded the Speaker’s resignation.
Ever since the statement of prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, given in a court surfaced that ‘big sharks’ had a role in helping the accused like Swapna Suresh, the name of the Speaker started doing the rounds and both the Congress and the BJP went to town with tt.
“I have already made it clear that I knew her, but had no clue of her background of what has come up now. No help was given or taken and as said by me, yesterday, I will again say, I have never travelled with the accused nor have I met them, when I was abroad,” said the Speaker.
“If a need arises, I am prepared to appear before any to testify about this and if I have to do that, I do not need any ‘insulation’ and I will appear as just an ordinary person. Since at the time agencies are probing the case, the question of taking legal steps will be taken later,” added the speaker.
Chennithala said the total construction cost of building the Kerala Assembly then (in the mid-nineties) was Rs 76 crores.
“Since Sreeramakrishnan took over as the Speaker in 2016, so far he has blown up Rs 100 crores which includes fresh construction, holding programmes, etc. This is a colossal waste of money, when Kerala is passing through the worst of the financial crisis,” said Chennithala.
“Lot of work has been handed over to the Uralungal labour contract co-operative society, flouting all norms. The Speaker has given huge sums of money to them under ‘mobilization advance’, a thing which former State PWD minister V.K. Ebrahim Kunju did and he is now in jail. All elementary norms have been violated by the Speaker,” added Chennithala.
“The work was given to Uralungal as they can be given the work without any tender, as per the rules. Also wish to know which company has a track record of returning Rs 18 crores back after they have completed all the work. All the work done by the Speaker is overseen by a three tier committee. I do not know why such allegations are being raised now,” asked Sreeramakrishnan. He said he is open to any probe by any committee which even Chennithala can head.