Achuthanandan denies he called ex-royal family smuggler

August 23rd, 2011 - 4:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 23 (IANS) Following widespread censure, former Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan Tuesday backtracked on his allegation that the ex-royal family of Travancore smuggled jewels from the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, saying he had not made the remark.

“Look, I have been receiving numerous complaints on this and all what I did was to air the complaints, and it was never a statement that should be attributed to me,” Achuthanandan told reporters Tuesday.

Last Saturday, Achuthanandan said that Marthanda Varma, head of the erstwhile royal family of Travancore, smuggled jewels from the temple that is in the news for the huge treasure trove recovered from its vaults.

“Don’t you know that Marthanda Varma goes to the temple everyday? When he returns he carries a tiffin box. The general perception is that he brings the ‘payasam’. But it is not that. Instead, it is jewels,” Achuthanandan said.

The remarks have invited censure from everyone cutting across political affiliations.

Achuthanandan said that he has received numerous petitions on the mismanagement of the famed temple.

“I have approached the Supreme Court to see that all the complaints of mismanagement of the temple are looked into because the wealth has to be protected. I want the truth to come out,” said Achuthanandan.

Meanwhile, the apex court appointed committee which has been entrusted to prepare a detailed inventory is still undecided if it has to open Vault B which is untouched since the past 150 years and is believed to contain huge treasure, similar to what was found out in Vault A when it was opened in June.

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