All India Congress Committee President Sonia Gandhi, former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy and other bigwigs of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) have been named in an FIR by a construction company in a case of non-payment for building the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Development Studies. The company, Heather Constructions, has alleged that the payment has been due for seven years.
The FIR also named KPCC chief VM Sudheeran and former Kerala home minister Ramesh Chennithala, who is the chairman of the institute, and Hidur Muhammad, the director of the institute.
Indicating trouble in the state unit, Sudheeran has said he would not be able to issue money for an old project. Chennithala was the KPCC chief when the project was undertaken.
"The entire issue is being blown out of proportion.... Sonia Gandhi has nothing to do with it... No criminality and default payments are involved," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala was quoted as saying by ANI. The fight between engineers and contractors was almost sorted out and the issue would be settled within 24 hours, he added.
"There was some confusion regarding the bills, will settle the matter out of court within few days," Chennithala was quoted as saying by ANI on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not refrain from jumping at the chance of humiliating the Congress.
"When you become a party chief, all the wings are your responsibility. If one wing stops functioning, you should look into it," BJP MP Subramanian Swamy was quoted as saying by NDTV.