In a move to thwart the plan by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) plan to cause discomfiture to the district Congress over the alleged suicide of building contractor Joseph Muthuparakunnel at Cherupuzha, here, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has announced that the party will take over the financial liability of the deceased for which a local trust run by party functionaries has been blamed.
Talking to reporters after visiting the bereaved family on Thursday, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran said that the party would take action if any local functionary of the party was found involved in causing a situation that had led to the financial liability of Joseph. Stating that the financial deals of the Leader K. Karunakaran Smaraka Trust would be probed, he said that the functioning of all trusts associated with party leaders would come under the scanner.
The controversy over the suspected suicide of the building contractor on September 5 caused embarrassment to the Congress leadership in the district which had launched a blitzkrieg on the local CPI(M) leadership on the suicide of NRI investor Sajan Parayil following CPI(M)-administered Anthoor municipality’s refusal of building permit to his convention centre at Bakkalam. The KPCC president’s announcement came as the CPI(M) lent support to a local action committee that alleged that the trust’s non-payment of the contract amount for its building at Cherupuzha had caused a huge financial liability to him.
Mr. Ramachandran said that the first instalment of the financial liability of the deceased would be given to the family soon. The three-member panel constituted by the party to probe the death would submit its report within five days, he said, adding that the party would initiate action based on the report.
The KPCC president’s visit followed a letter written to him by Joseph’s son, stating that the family suspected that his father was eliminated by local Congress functionaries who owed him money in connection with the construction of the building. The son, Dence alias Appukuttan, said in the letter that on September 4, the party leaders had asked him to meet them with the documents. His father had gone to meet them and the family heard about his death the next day, he said, adding that the papers his father had taken with him were missing.
The action committee alleged financial misappropriation by the local Congress leaders. It alleged that the building constructed for a hospital had been converted into a commercial complex. The contractor had been found dead with his wrist slashed on the terrace of the building he constructed. The family alleged that the trust and the people associated with it owed Joseph ₹1.3 crore.