The ruling Left Democratic Front Government in Kerala’s cover-up operations over granting permission for three distilleries and a liquor bottling plant has seen and accusing the UDF Government under AK Antony in 1993 of granting a licence has fallen flat.
Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala has dared the Government to order a judicial probe into granting of permission for breweries and a distillery. The CPM yesterday tried to blunt the UDF charge that no permission for new breweries or distilleries was given after the 1999 excise order how it was changed to grant the new permissions. However,LDF convenor A Vijayaraghavan dropped a bombshell yesterday stating that a licence was granted in 2003 during the Antony regime. Excise Minister TP Ramakrishnan repeated this today.
Chennithala shot back saying the permission was given by the LDF Government headed by the late EK Nayanar in 1998. Granting of licence was only a formality in 2003 and the excise commissioner granted the licence on the basis of the permission granted by the previous Government, he added.
Chennithala was also critical of Ramakrishnan for not responding to his queries. He had said the LDF liquor policy made no mention of starting new distilleries and breweries. He pointed out that the successive LDF and the UDF Governments followed the 1999 order and did not grant permission to any brewery or distillery.
The Government tripped coming out with an order on permission to grant 10 acres for a brewery in the Kinfra Park near Kalamassery. But Industries Minister EP Jayarajan said no land was allotted at the park.
Also permission for the bottling plant was given in Thrissur for which no details of land were given.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is yet to react to the volleying of charges and counter charges over the LDF move for 'self-sufficiency’ in beer and Indian made foreign liquor.