Adani-related firm consultants for leasing of TVM airport, Chennithala seeks explanation from govt
Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala on Saturday said that the fact that a law firm related to Adani enterprises, who won the lease contract for Thiruvananthapuram airport operations, was appointed as the legal consultants for state government on the same bidding process is worrisome. He demanded the government to bring clarity on this matter. If at all the media reports in this regard are true, it points to a conspiracy has been hatched between the government and Adani group, he added.
“Kerala government and Adani group had bid for the same. But the same law firm providing legal advice to both parties put government on tight spot. Government is liable to provide an explanation on this matter,” he said.
The Opposition had stood by the government in opposing the Centre’s decision to lease out Thiruvananthapuram airport to Adani group for 50 years. That’s why we readily attended the all-party meeting convened by Chief Minister. But if the reports surfacing now are true it has to be suspected that the government had vested interests. Government should clarify it before bringing in the resolution in Assembly on August 24, he further added.
He also suspected that the confidential nature of the documents submitted by the government for bidding could have been lost with consulting Adani-related firm.
Earlier the day, reports surfaced that Kerala government had approached a company owned by a relative of Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani, to secure the lease of the international airport here.
An RTI response revealed that the state government gave consultancy fees to Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, a law firm owned by Cyril Shroff, father-in-law of Gautam Adani’s son Karan. Gautam Adani’s daughter-in-law Paridhi is also a partner of the company.
The RTI response also revealed that the Kerala government paid Rs 55,39,522 as ‘professional fee for bidding’ to the law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.
There is growing suspicion that this consultancy deal resulted in Kerala, failing in the bid to win the operational authority of the airport. When Kerala had quoted Rs 135 per passenger entering the airport in the bid, the Adani Group had quoted Rs 168 per passenger. Adani group won the bid and the contract from the central government.