Kerala Minister Faces Bribery Allegations, CPI(M) Defends

CPI(M) and public works minister PA Mohamed Riyas are on the defensive following allegations that a local party leader solicited a bribe from a doctor in exchange for a KPSC appointment.
Kerala Minister Faces Bribery Allegations, CPI(M) Defends

Riyas, who is also Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s son-in-law, has denied any involvement and threatened legal action against those tarnishing his reputation. Vijayan addressed the state Assembly, stating that fraudsters would face legal consequences. CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan also defended Riyas, asserting that the party believed no such malpractice could occur under his watch and that no investigation into Riyas was necessary. However, both the Congress and BJP have demanded a probe into Riyas's potential involvement in the corruption scandal.

The allegations center on CPI(M) local leader Pramod Kootoli from Kozhikode. Kootoli allegedly promised a KPSC member post to a homeopathic doctor from Kozhikode in exchange for a bribe of Rs 60 lakh, of which he reportedly accepted Rs 22 lakh as an advance. Kootoli claimed that Riyas and other senior party leaders from Kozhikode would assist with the appointment. When the doctor received no confirmation of the post, she and her husband filed a complaint with the party leadership. CPI(M) sources indicate that Pramod, an area committee member, may face disciplinary action.

This scandal emerges shortly after CPI(M) state secretary Govindan warned party leaders about the misuse of politics for financial gain, highlighting concerns over the party's poor performance in the Lok Sabha polls. The CPI(M) leadership’s handling of the bribery allegations will be closely watched as they navigate these serious accusations.