19 July 2019 9:08 AM GMT
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A Kerala builder has sent a legal notice to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and several other senior leaders alleging that his company has not been paid for building the Rajiv Gandhi Institute Of Development Studies, Neyyar Dam, in Thiruvananthapuram.
Among those who have received the notice is Ramesh Chennithala, former Kerala Home Minster, who had authorized the deal with the company Heather Constructions, when he was chief of the Kerala Congress between 2009-2014.
Mrs Gandhi had inaugurated the institute in 2013.
Congress leaders today said it was "ridiculous" that the party's president has been dragged into a local matter. The builder, they said, had clearly sent the legal notice to catch the Congress central leadership's eye after failing to get the state unit to pay him.
"The Entire issue is being blown out of proportion.... Sonia Gandhi has nothing to do with it... No criminality & default payments are involved," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, adding that the issue, "a fight between engineers and contractors," is almost sorted out.
The BJP has gleefully seized upon the opportunity to highlight the Congress' embarrassment. "When you become a party chief then all the wings are your responsibility. If one wing stop functioning then you should look into it," advised Subramanian Swamy, lawmaker and the BJP's chief Gandhi family baiter.