Dispute within Congress over loan irregularities in Pulpally Service Co-operative Bank

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KK Abraham | Photos: ANI, Mathrubhumi

Pulpally: Irregularities in Pulpally Service Co-operative Bank sparked discontent among grassroots workers. Some members of the party had previously accused the district Congress leadership of shielding alleged perpetrators in the loan fraud case. Tensions escalated after a farmer took his own life earlier this week due to being defrauded of a loan.

The incident drew attention from the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC). Although a commission of inquiry was appointed and its report submitted, the party leadership has been reluctant to take action against the culprits, leading to widespread frustration among activists.

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Critics argue that despite clear evidence of fraud within the bank, the leadership has chosen to protect the corrupt, causing significant embarrassment to the party in the eyes of the public. The cooperative department, during MLA IC Balakrishnan’s tenure as DCC president, had unearthed the irregularities in the bank loans. However, some allege that the MLA has been shielding the criminals from the beginning.

Numerous victims of fraud claim to have personally informed the MLA, but no substantial action was taken, they allege. The present president of the party’s Pulpally Mandalam committee was found guilty in the department's investigation. He is a former member of the bank's governing body.

Sunny Thomas, a former board member of the bank, resigned in 2015 and later provided crucial testimony to the investigating officer regarding irregularities in the bank. Assistant Registrar TS Johnson played a key role in exposing the bank's irregularities during the investigation.

Former members of the bank's management committee, including NU Ulahannan, TP Mukundan, and Philomena Kanjookaran, have been exempted from surcharge proceedings as they were found not involved in the irregularities. A group of Youth Congress leaders has been actively demanding action against those responsible for the loan irregularities since the beginning.

Bank corruption has been a topic of discussion in Mandalam committee meetings, resulting in heated debates among party workers. KK Abraham's candidacy for the DCC presidency and his appointment as KPCC general secretary were opposed by a significant faction within the party. Abraham is now in judicial custody.

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