PALAKKAD: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has said that he ‘‘did not put the blame on Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac for the lottery mess” at his meet-the-press in Kochi on Monday as interpreted by a section of the media and some Opposition leaders.
The Chief Minister said “there were some lapses on the part of the officials in interpreting the Central Lotteries Act and the court verdicts. But the officials alone will not be made responsible for it. The political leadership of the government is also responsible for the lapses. In fact, the government owns up the mistake and as head of the government I take the responsibility for the lapses in this regard,” he said.
Mr. Achuthanandan said he was convening a meeting of top officials of the State in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday to finalise the measures that would be taken to curb the illegal operation of other State lotteries in Kerala.‘‘This meeting will finalise strong measures required to stop the operation of illegal lotteries under the provisions of the ordinance brought in by the State government. The lottery operators will be asked to comply with all legal provisions to operate in the State.”
The Chief Minister said that in the lottery issue, the Central government’s attitude was to help lottery operators who looted the State. Instead of taking strong steps against them, the Centre is playing into the hands of big lottery operators. That is why a Congress spokesman appeared for a lottery agent in the Kerala High Court recently.