Kerala fisheries minister Mercykutty accused in corruption of cashewnut import


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM,Jan3: J Mercykutty, a woman minister in the Kerala government, will be investigated for corruption, the state vigilance department has decided.

Mercykutty Amma, as she is known, has been accused of misusing her office – she is the Fisheries and Cashews Minister — to facilitate a Rs. 10-crore scam.

A complaint filed by an advocate affiliated with the Congress, says that the minister, in her early 60s, allowed a firm to buy cashews at an inflated price, rejecting bids that were far more reasonable. The complaint also says that cashews bought were of poor quality.
Mercykutty said late last year that she would resign if the charges against her are proven.

In June, the Left-led coalition replaced the Congress-led government in Kerala. Just after 5 months of coming to power, a key LDF minister, EP Jayarajan, had to quit over allegations of nepotism.

The investigation will also examine if the minister’s husband B Thulaseedhara Kurup, who allegedly helped the minister in sourcing the inflated tenders, was involved.