CBI charges against Kerala leader politically motivated: CPI-M

January 22nd, 2009 - 11:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Thursday said the decision of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute a Kerala party leader in a 12-year-old graft case was “politically motivated”.“Steps taken by the CBI to prosecute Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI-M secretary in Kerala, in the SNC Lavlin case is politically motivated,” a party statement said.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had found irregularities in the contract with SNC Lavalin of Canada for the renovation and modernisation of the Pallivassal, Chengulam and Panniyar hydro-electric projects in Idukki district.

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

The CBI filed a progress report on the investigation at the Kerala High Court Wednesday. On Thursday, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said Vijayan’s name has figured in the charge sheet.

“It should be recollected that then Oomen Chandy government had referred the case to the CBI in 2006 after the vigilance enquiry, ordered by it, had exonerated comrade Vijayan of any wrongdoing,” the statement said.

“The CPI-M had condemned that move, stating that it is being done on the eve of the assembly elections for partisan purposes. Now, with the advent of the Lok Sabha polls, once again the case is being proceeded with,” the CPI-M statement said.

“The use of central investigating agencies by the ruling party for political purposes should be a matter of serious public concern,” the statement added.

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