(Eds; adding remarks of CM) Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 23 (PTI) The Kerala government on Wednesday ordered a vigilance probe into the allegations raised by Opposition parties over 'construction flaws' and 'corruption' in the Wadakkanchery project under the state's Life Mission scheme for providing houses to the poor.
However, the Opposition Congress and the BJP opposed the move and sought a CBI investigation.
The Chief Minister said the vigilance would initiate a preliminary probe into the allegations.
'Some people are trying to defame the project Life mission entirely. The allegation is raised about one particular project at Wadakkancherry.
The probe has been initiated to find out whether any corruption is involved. If there is, strong action will be taken,' Vijayan said.
However, Leader of Opposition in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala said the Left government's decision for a vigilance inquiry was not acceptable and demanded a CBI probe.
'Vigilance probe is not acceptable. The vigilance cannot prove anything related to this matter. It's related to foreign entities. This matter has international ramification.
CBI should probe the matter. Else the corruption behind life (project) cannot be brought out,' he told reporters here.
Chennithala said the chief minister has failed to hand over a copy of the MoU signed between the Red Crescent and the state government.
'The reply is pending. Protesting against this, I hereby resign from Life Mission Task Force special invitee post,' Chennithala said.
He alleged that the commission involved in the case amounted to nearly Rs 9 crore in a Rs 20 crore project.
Meanwhile, BJP state chief K Surendran, in a press release said the move to order a vigilance probe was to derail the investigation by the central agencies.
'The vigilance investigation is a farce. The move is to derail the investigation by the central agencies,' he said.
Chennithala had earlier alleged that Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the gold smuggling case, had admitted before the NIA court that she had received Rs one crore as commission towards the Life Mission scheme.
He claimed that details of MoU of the project, signed by representatives of Life Mission and Red Crescent published by the media showed that the government was actively involved in the selection of a contractor for the project, Unitac LLC.
The opposition has been alleging that corruption is involved in selection of the contractor by Red Crescent.
Red Crescent, an international humanitarian movement, had agreed to provide Rs 20 crore worth funds towards the Life Mission scheme.
Earlier, Vijayan had dismissed the charge that commission or bribe was paid in the Life Mission projects and said the woman would have had some contacts as she was with the UAE Consulate and Red Crescent is a UAE-based organisation.
The state government had earlier clarified that the agreement was between it and the Red Crescent. PTI RRT APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH