KOCHI:Fresh controversy has erupted after the Kerala Higher Education Minister admitted that he had distributed the Quran along with the Ramazan food kits from the UAE Consulate in the state capital.
He said in an interview with the local daily Mathrubhumi that he supplied the Quran from UAE to two institutions at Edappal and Alathur.
The BJP state vice president Dr K S Radhakrishnan pointed out that distribution of the Quran by the minister was in violation of the oath of office Jaleel took as a minister.India is governed not by the Quran,but by the constitution.Taking part in the distribution amount to proselytization,which is violation of the oath of office.
With reports coming in that he had contacted the smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh on the phone nine times, Jaleel had earlier clarified that he had contacted her as directed by the UAE consul-general in connection with distribution of Ramzan food kits by the consulate.
After news channels showed Swapna’s call list showing the minister’s phone number, Jaleel also shared the message that the consul-general had sent him regarding the kit distribution. He said all calls made to Swapna were official and were not at odd hours.
“The consulate used to distribute food kits during Ramzan. This year, it didn’t happen due to the lockdown. So, the consul-general messaged me on May 27 expressing his wish to distribute the food kits and I agreed to make arrangements through Consumerfed. The consul-general messaged me that Swapna would contact me,” he had said.
Following this, around 1,000 food kits were distributed in Edappal and Triprangode in Malappuram. Responding to questions on repeated calls to Swapna, he said he had called her to coordinate the kit distribution and also called her when the payment to Edappal Consumerfed, through which the distribution was arranged, was delayed. He said he had known Swapna for four years as the UAE Consul-General’s secretary and she had also visited his office to invite him to the UAE National Day celebrations. The phone number of Jaleel’s staff member was also in the call list of Sarith P S, another accused in the smuggling case. Jaleel had said he isn’t aware of those calls and let the NIA investigate it, if needed.