Kochi : Police Monday grilled K. Venugopal, who was expelled from the Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) last month, over allegations that he had accepted Rs.10 million as graft from private financial company LIS to settle its problems.
Venugopal, nephew of legendary communist leader A.K. Gopalan and a close confidant of state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, was removed from a senior position in the CPI-M mouthpiece 'Deshabhimani' and the party over allegations that he had taken money to bail out the company which was in financial straits.
The issue was raked up by the Congress-led opposition, which stalled house proceedings in the ongoing assembly session, forcing Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan to announce a probe.
P.V. Chacko, chairman of LIS who was also questioned by police Monday, told police that he had not approached anyone or given money to Venugopal to settle his company's problems.
According to sources, Venugopal has told police that he had not taken money from anyone and the allegations against him were baseless and he would approach the party forum to challenge his dismissal.
Reports indicate that Venugopal has become a victim of an inner party clash between the faction led Vijayan and by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, whose group has an upper hand in Kochi.