January 10, 2018
Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Wednesday said that the CPI-M had the resources to foot the Rs. 8 lakh bill, for the helicopter ride by the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan.
The Chief Minister, a few days ago, flew on a charted helicopter to Thiruvananthapuram after attending a party conference in Thrissur. He flew back after attending a meeting with representatives of Central Government studying the damage caused by cyclone Ockhi that ravaged coastal Kerala in November.
A controversy erupted after Additional Chief Secretary P.H. Kurien released the money to settle the bill from the cyclone relief fund, which came as a big embarrassment to the LDF Government.
The Chief Minister’s Office hurriedly announced the cancellation order (of the settlement amount) after severe backlash from the opposition parties.
At the same time, Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan, who is in charge of the relief fund, said that there would be an official inquiry into how the first order was issued without his knowledge. He said Kurien had maligned the Government by issuing the order.
The Minister and his party (CPI) are at loggerheads with Kurien, who is believed to be enjoying the Chief Minister’s support.
Meanwhile, CPI-M State unit Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters that the the party would discuss the issue on Thursday during a meeting at Thiruvananthapuram.