CPM faces land-grab charges
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress party in Kerala has alleged that the headquarters of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) was built on encroached government land violating all norms.
Raising the charges in the state assembly on Wednesday, former chief minister Oommen Chandy, who is now leader of the opposition, said the original land was allotted for a memorial for legendary communist AK Gopalan, who was leader of the Opposition in the parliament.
However, the party made it its headquarters and grabbed the adjacent land belonging to the University of Kerala, the opposition members alleged amidst protests from the treasury benches.
In 1977, then chief minister A K Antony had given 28 cents of land belonging to the university to the CPI-M to build the AKG Centre, totally free. Later, they were given 15 cents of land from Kerala University, right next to the plot previously allotted. The building was also exempted from taxes as a ‘memorial’.
Using the provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Kerala Congress (M) legislator Joseph M Puthussery then sought the copy of the order and the extend of land the party now holds in the heart of the city. But he got the reply that the file was missing.

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