Achuthanandan criticised for his silence on case against Vijayan

January 26th, 2009 - 5:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 26 (IANS) Veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) hardliner and Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan’s stoic silence over his party colleague Pinarayi Vijayan being accused in a multi-million rupee scam by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has drawn criticism from many party members. The CBI, in its detailed report last week to both the Kerala High Court and the CBI court in Kochi, accused Vijayan and 10 others of having been involved in wrongly awarding the contracts to renovate two hydro-power projects to Canadian company SNC Lavalin 12 years ago.

Vijayan was state electricity minister in 1997 when SNC Lavlin was given the contract in which the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had found irregularities.

While most CPI-M leaders have openly defended Vijayan, Achuthanandan has remained silent on the controversy.

“Achuthanandan’s silence in not in line with what the party expects from him,” a CPI-M minister told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Party sources said the chief minister last week visited New Delhi to convince the CPI-M high command that Vijayan should be asked to resign and disallowed from leading a statewide campaign for the party that is scheduled to begin in the first week of February.

At a special district plenum meeting held here Sunday, several speakers criticised Achuthanandan for his silence and for not toeing the line of the party politburo that met in New Delhi last week and expressed full support for Vijayan.

“The cadres appear shocked and confused by the Lavlin case. It is visible when we try to mobilise them at the lowest levels. In the interest of the party, it is best that both Achuthanandan and Vijayan step down,” said a party legislator.

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