Bribe for PSC membership: Kerala Minister Riyas rejects charges; warns legal action

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 8 (PTI) Kerala PWD Minister P A Mohammed Riyas on Monday outrightly rejected the allegations cropped up against him in connection with the Public Service Commission (PSC) membership bribe row and warned of legal action against those who raised "baseless" charges against him.

When reporters sought his reaction over the raging issue, the minister alleged that it was an attempt to tarnish him "personally" and he had knowledge about it only through media reports.

His reaction came in the wake of allegations that a CPI(M) leader in northern Kozhikode district reportedly collected lakhs of rupees from a person promising to make him a member of the PSC, and the name of Riyas has been linked to it.

The son-in-law of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Minister Riyas, said his name has been continuously dragged into negative issues these days by vested interests, and everybody knows the real intentions behind such moves.

"Even though it is understood and proved later that there is no truth in such baseless allegations, they are not ready to correct it or explain it. So, I have decided to take legal action against those who drag my name into such absurd matters," he said.

The PWD minister said the LDF government will take stringent action against the wrongdoers, and the CM has already made it clear in the state Assembly.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan justified Riyas and reiterated that the allegations were baseless.

He said the CPI(M) would choose PSC members based on merit only, and if anyone committed anything wrong, stringent action would be taken against them.

He said the party is well aware that Riyas has no role in the bribery charges, so there is no need for a probe against him.

"We all know how the members of the PSC are being decided. If police receive a complaint in this regard, they can investigate," he said in reply to a question raised by reporters.

The Left leader claimed that the CPI(M) was not a party that decides PSC membership by accepting money.

Govindan also said the Marxist party won't entertain any such wrongdoings and stringent measures would be taken against such practices.

However, the BJP and Congress district leadership in Kozhikode reacted to the matter and sought a comprehensive probe into the allegations.

BJP state president K Surendran said the bribe was accepted by saying the name of Riyas, and so a detailed investigation should be carried out into the issue.

"It is not an ordinary corruption case. It was committed in the name of a responsible person in power. So, a comprehensive probe should be carried out," he told a press conference here.

He also alleged that several corruption and malpractices are happening under the aegis of CPI(M) centering northern Kozhikode district. PTI LGK KH