‘Victim of unjustified media harassment’, says Kerala minister Jaleel after resigning

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Minister K T Jaleel, who resigned on Tuesday over adverse remarks against him by the state Lokayukta for abusing his position as a public servant, said he has been a victim of “unjustified media harassment” for the last two years.

Jaleel earlier in the day sent his resignation to the Chief Minister which was forwarded to the Governor who accepted it.

A division bench of the Lokayukta had on Friday submitted the report against Jaleel to the Chief Minister and had held that the allegation of abuse of power, favouritism and nepotism against the minister was proved.

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In a Facebook Post, Jaleel himself confirmed that he had put in his papers.

“Those who were vyingfor my blood can relax for a while as I am happy to inform you that the resignation letter has been handed over to the Chief Minister.I am a public servant who has been the victim of unjustified media harassment for the last two years,” Jaleel said in his post.

Jaleel said he was hounded by the media not for stealing or engaging in corruption orin disproportionate assets case or causing loss to the exchequer or leading a luxury life or anything of such sorts.

Apparently targeting the Muslim League (IUML) leadership over allegations against them on embezzlement of some funds, he said in the post that he was not attacked by the media notfor embezzlement of Tsunami-Gujarat-Katwa-flood funds or for swallowing crores of rupees set aside for the construction of the Palarivattom bridge.

He was also referring to the infamous Palarivattom bridge which was demolished and reconstructed allegedly due to corruption involving a former IUML Minister V K Ibrahimkunju.

Jaleel said he was able to hold on to the weight of the attacks of the right wing and the media because he was “convinced” that he had “not done anything wrong”.

“I consider it as the greatest honour for my public life that three central investigation agencies have thoroughly probed and were unable to find anything wrong on my part.

Any investigation agencies, including media investigation teams, are still welcome to my home,” Jaleel said.

The Customs department, the NIA and the ED had probed various allegations levelled against him in connection with the gold smuggling case. However, none of these agencies could find anything related to Jaleel and ended the probe.

Jaleel, a former associate professor of History in P S M O College at Tirurangadi, said the deputation controversy was “a ray of hope for the League, Congress and the media syndicate” as all their allegations against him failed to hit the mark.

“For the last few days, the Muslim League, the Congress and the right wing media have been breaking stories against me. Currently the matter is under the consideration of the High Court and I am not waiting for the verdict but resigning from the post on moral grounds,” he said.

The MLA from Thavanur said he will “continue his struggle against the rotten and nefarious communal politics”.

The Congress and the BJP came out against Jaleel and the Left government.

Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala said: “Jaleel had to resign because there was a strong public opinion against him. If he had any morality, he wouldn’t have gone to the High Court.”

KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran said the chief minister should explain his stand on this act of nepotism.

“And the much awaited wicket has fallen.

Minister K TJaleel was forced to resign from the @vijayanpinarayigovernment. Earlier Lokayukta held that Mr Jaleel has abused his official position to obtain favour for a kin. His partner in crime Mr Vijayan should tender resignation,” BJP state chief K Surendran tweeted.

Union Minister V Muraleedharan claimed the resignation was an act to fool the people and the chief minister has made Jaleel a scapegoat.

“The people of Kerala will not get fooled by such antics. The chief minister should also tender his resignation,” Muraleedharan told the media in Delhi.

Jaleel was ousted from the Indian Union Muslim League following differences with the leadership. He was elected as an MLA for the first time in 2006, from Kuttippuram constituency as a Left supported Independent candidate, defeating the then IUML general secretary P K Kunhalikutty.

In 2011, he was elected from Thavanoor constituency, defeating V V Prakash of Congress by 6,854 votes. He was re-elected in 2016 from the same constituency with a majority of 17,064 votes against P Iftiquar Udeen of the Congress.

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