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ED raid on Kandala Cooperative Bank in Kerala continues; CPI expels its local leader

Thiruvananthapuram: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raid on a cooperative bank in this southern Kerala district that began a day ago continued on Thursday.

The ED raided the Kandala Services Cooperative Bank near Kattakada here and several other locations, including the residence of its former president and local CPI leader N Bhasurangan.

As the raids continued, Bhasurangan, a local CPI leader, was expelled from the Left party’s primary membership.

His expulsion was conveyed to the media by a member of the party’s Thiruvananthapuram district committee.

The CPI had taken action against Bhasurangan in the past also, the party’s district committee member said.

Bhasurangan was also removed from the position of Convenor of the Administrative Committee of the Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (KCMMF), which sells products under the trade name of Milma.

His removal from Milma was announced by state Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Milk Co-operatives J Chinchu Rani.

She told reporters that the Registrar of KCMMF has been directed to put in place an alternative system following Bhasurangan’s removal.

State Minister for Cooperation and Registration V N Vasavan, meanwhile, termed the ED action as ‘nothing new’.

He said that ED arrived at the scene only after the Cooperation Department discovered the alleged irregularities in the bank, took appropriate measures and actions and the police lodged a case in connection with that.

“So, there is nothing new. Why is ED not going after the hundreds of banks across the country whose licenses have been cancelled due to alleged irregularities? This (ED raid) is clearly a politically motivated action,” he contended.

Amidst the raids, Bhasurangan, who was being questioned by the ED, complained of uneasiness and was subsequently hospitalised.

He is presently admitted to the cardiac ICU of a private hospital here.

The ED raids, which have been underway for over 24 hours now, were following reports of alleged irregularities of several crores having been committed by the ex-president and some other officials of the bank.

(Published 09 November 2023, 10:34 IST)

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