Kannur: PWD Minister and husband of CM’s daughter, Muhammed Riyas, was evidently uneasy when journalists questioned him about the monthly payment controversy involving his wife, Veena Vijayan. The Minister kept giving the same reply to various questions from the media concerning the controversy.
Muhammed Riyas tried to avoid answering the questions by saying that the CPI(M) Secretariat has given a detailed statement and the communist party secretary has informed the party’s stance on the issue. Muhammed Riyas said that even if the journalists question him repeatedly this will be his only answer.
The Minister also mocked the journalists saying that when the media is giving the news of the controversy, his smiling photo is always given as the promo and said that he will pose for the camera with a frightened face so that they can give that picture for the promo.
Muhammed Riyas added that journalists are a group who has still not gained independence. He said that journalists can give news only according to the politics of the owners of the media group they are working for and that they are unable to give news that are in tune with their conscience.
He also said that the position of nightly news discussions in the media is in the dustbin.
Muhammed Riyas made these statements while speaking to the media after hoisting the national flag as part of the Independence Day celebrations.
Muhammed Riyas is the husband of the Chief Minister’s daughter, Veena Vijayan. His wife is also the owner of Exalogic Solutions which had entered into a contract with another company Cochin Minerals and Rutile Limited (CMRL) for providing marketing and consultancy services.
As part of the deal, Veena Vijayan and her company got Rs.1.72 crores over a span of three years. However, the Income Tax found out that she got the monthly payment without providing any service to CMRL as was agreed upon in the contract.
It is believed that the money was given due to her relation with a prominent figure.
Interestingly, a diary emerged in the raids of Income Tax department which shows that leaders of Congress and Muslim League were also paid monthly by CMRL. The Congress has since gone silent over the controversy.
Opposition leader VD Satheesan tried to deflect the questions on Congress leaders’ involvement by saying that it is only natural for political leaders to receive money from people.