Ramesh Chennithala. (Photo: Twitter/@chennithala). Image Source: IANS News

Thiruvananthapuram, March 1 : Continuing his tirade against Kerala Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Monday alleged that she has been consistently telling lies about the now cancelled deep sea fishing project.

Chennithala has been demanding Mercykutty's resignation and also a judicial probe into the deal.

"Both Mercykutty and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan have been telling lies about this project, which I exposed as a corrupt deal with the US headquartered -- EMCC -- that has an Indian subsidiary. All along she has been saying she has no clue about it and if anything has happened it's because of the officials who have taken this project forward," said Chennithala.

"Today, I am challenging both Vijayan and Mercykutty to release the file 219/D3/2019 of the Fisheries Department. This file originated on August 9, 2019 and two times Mercykutty has seen this and on both the occasions it came from the Fisheries Secretary but was sent back to him. All along she has been asking, which project, what project. I challenge Vijayan to make this file public. She is a liar," added Chennithala.

Chennithala was attacked by both Mercykutty and Vijayan about the sourcing of the document related to the case. They said it came to Chennithala from an IAS official, who was his former secretary when he was the state Home Minister and the same official holds a key post in the present government.

"I have been named as a conspirator and now I will tell all, how I came to know of this fraudulent deal, if it had gone forward, it would have been selling the Kerala seas to a US firm. When my statewide yatra reached Alappuzha, I was told about this project by Jackson, who heads the trade union wing of a fisheries organisation and expressed huge concern about it, as it tantamounts to cheating the state's fishing community," said Chennithala.

With the Assembly election on April 6, the Congress-led UDF has taken up this issue in a big way and two state level Yatras -- one from Kasargode led by Congress MP, T.N. Prathapan has started, while the other one led by former State Minister Shibhu Baby John will begin from here on Tuesday. Both will converge at Ernakulam on March 7.

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