Trouble for Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan! Lokayukta admits complaint over misuse of Distress Relief Fund

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet colleagues have come under scanner for alleged misuse of Chief Ministers Distress Relief Fund for the benefit of deceased LDF leaders. According to a report in Manorama online, the Kerala Lokayukta has admitted a complaint it received alleging illegal transfer of distress funds to the families of NCP leader Uzhavur Vijayan. A former syndicate member of Kerala University RS Sasikumar has filed the complaint. Sasikumar claims that the state cabinet had illegally transferred funds to the families of NCP leader Uzhavur Vijayan, former Chengannur MLA K K Ramachandran Nair, and Praveen, the escort driver of the CPI(M) state secretary who died in an accident while on duty, the report said. The complainant has also put the details of the money granted to the LDF leaders. The report said that Uzhavur Vijayans family was given Rs 25 lakh and the kin of driver Praveen was granted Rs 20 lakh. Sasikumar also said that Ramachandran Nairs loan liability of Rs 9 lakh was also given from the chief ministers fund. The report further quoted the complaint as saying that the fund was brought in as an out of agenda item at the cabinet meeting, and it was given without any formal request from the beneficiaries. The state government has stated the procedure of filing the applications for the fund. It says people can submit an application online in the CMDRF portal, through Akshaya Centres, and also through the offices of MPs and MLAs using the application interface provided to them. In the case of accident deaths, FIR and death certificates need to be produced. For calamities affected people, the village officer reports particulars of the family and forward this to Collector through Tahsildar. The District Collectors can approve up to Rs 10,000. The chief minister can grant assistance of up to 3 lakhs and anything more than this required cabinet approval.

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