Kerala’s people cannot be misled by fabricated cases: Vijayan

January 24th, 2009 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 24 (IANS) Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) Kerala unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, named an accused in a multi-million-rupee scam, Saturday said that the people of the state “cannot be misled by fabricated cases”. Without mentioning the Lavalin case, Vijayan, while speaking at a meeting organised by the Left-leaning Kerala Secretariat Employees Association here, said that for long, the CPI-M and its leaders have been targeted to weaken them.

“The Communists have been targeted from within the country and also from abroad. There was a conspiracy hatched in the USA to topple the first elected Communist government in the world under E.M.S. Namboodiripad. Many such attempts have not been able to weaken our party,” he said.

In 2006, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) found irregularities in the Lavalin contract and the Kerala High Court January 2007 ordered a CBI probe into the scam.

Vijayan, as state electricity minister in 1997, had awarded the contract to SNC Lavalin of Canada.

The CBI has concluded that Vijayan, with two other accused, hatched a criminal conspiracy and finalised the deal with the firm for renovation and modernisation of the Pallivassal, Chengulam and Panniyar hydro-electric projects in Idukki district.

In its detailed report submitted early this week to both the Kerala High Court and the CBI court here, the agency named 11 accused, including Vijayan and a top official of the Canadian company. Others are government employees who have now retired.

Meanwhile, the faction-ridden state unit of the party, split between Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and Vijayan, has been told by the party politburo that no one should make any comment on this issue.

Achuthanandan, as Leader of Opposition 2001-06, had publicly said that SNC Lavlin should be blacklisted and welcomed any probe by any agency on the corruption case.

However at several places, Vijayan’s supporters staged protest marches, shouting slogans that he has been framed by the CBI under the guidance of the Congress party.

Two ministers came out in support of Vijayan and charged the Congress with framing him.

Cooperation Minister G. Sudhakaran said that Vijayan has been targeted and framed by a section of the state Congress leaders, while Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem claimed Vijayan has been attacked to weaken the CPI-M at the national level.

“The people of Kerala are indebted to Vijayan for all what he did as electricity minister,” Kareem said.

Posters have appeared across the state that Vijayan should resign.

On Friday, marches were staged by Congress workers demanding the resignation of Vijayan.

Congress’ Kerala unit chief Ramesh Chennithala told reporters that Achuthanandan’s silence is meant to save Vijayan.

However, according to reports Achuthanandan is certain to raise the demand for Vijayan’s resignation at the CPI-M’s politburo meeting slated for later this month in Delhi.

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