Over 500 officers of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau are conducting raids across the state after the emergence of evidence of a huge number of cases of disbursement of funds from the Chief Minister's Grievance Redressal and Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) to ineligible beneficiaries.
The Fund is used to assist poor people with their medical treatment, accident victims and people affected by natural calamities. It is funded by public donations.
The raids have unearthed cases of the same doctor attesting several medical reports and people not knowing that funds have been disbursed in their names.
While evidence has emerged from all districts, there seems to be a more organised effort at misusing the Fund in the districts of Idukki, Kollam and Kottayam, said Vigilance officials.
They added that the findings were based on the perusal of files from the last two years and that a study of files from before 2021 might throw up even more cases.
Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said that the findings had exposed the fact that due diligence was not carried out at any level, i.e., collectorate or village level before the disbursal of funds. He added that a special team should be set up to probe the matter.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Surendran alleged that the funds were finding their way into the pockets of Communist Party of India (Marxist)-CPI(M) cadres.
According to political commentators, this resembles the diversion of funds meant for flood relief in 2018, which had earned the name 'flood relief scam.'
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