Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday attempted to highlight the massive pollution caused due to the toxic fire at the Brahamapuram legacy waste dump in Kochi on the national stage in a bid to put the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] and Congress on the dock.
At a press conference in New Delhi, BJP leader and the party’s “Kerala Prabhari” Prakash Javedekar, MP, termed the fire sabotage to cover up corruption and demanded a CBI enquiry.
Mr. Javedekar alleged that the firm contracted by the Kochi corporation to dispose of the waste had relatives of prominent CPI(M) and Congress leaders on board.
The BJP’s case was that the company, with questionable experience in waste management, subcontracted the civic work to two paper companies run by persons with CPI(M) and Congress connections.
It alleged that the subcontractors failed to meet their contractual obligation and allowed the waste, mostly plastic, to pile at the site of the Corporation’s waste management plant.
To cover up their deceit, the contractors set fire to the waste heap from four sides, releasing deadly toxins into the air.
The pile continued to smoulder for 14 days, contaminating Kochi’s air and jeopardising the health of its estimated 8 lakh citizens. The government failed to curb the fire and address the public health hazard.
Mr. Javedekar compared Kerala to Tripura. “In both States, Congress and CPI(M) worked in tandem to profit from corruption at the cost of the exchequer. Public interest was the causality”. He said the BJP would move the court for a CBI enquiry.
Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan and BJP State president K. Surendran had, separately, rejected the State government’s move to institute an anti-corruption enquiry into the fire’s cause based on the premise that it lacked credibility.
Both parties termed it a move to pull the wool over the public’s eye to save the suspects.