I’ll function according to constitution in Vijayan case: Achuthanandan

January 28th, 2009 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 28 (IANS) Veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) hardliner and Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, who had till now maintained silence over his colleague Pinarayi Vijayan’s alleged involvement in a multi-million rupee scam, Wednesday said he would function according to the constitution as far as the case is concerned. The Central Bureau of Investigation (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 Lavalin was given the contract in which the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had found irregularities.

“Right now the state government has been asked to give sanction to the CBI to prosecute former power principal secretary Mohanachandran and former joint secretary in the power department Francis in the Lavalin case. Other than that we don’t have anything else. We will seek opinion from the law department and do the necessary in the matter,” Achuthanandan told reporters here after the weekly cabinet meeting.

Asked if the Congress party was targeting Vijayan as pointed out by his party’s Politburo, he said: “This is being looked into.”

He was then faced with a volley of questions on his reactions to Vijayan’s involvement and he said: “I am one who has to function according to the constitution and I have replied to it.”

While most CPI-M leaders have openly defended Vijayan, Achuthanandan has remained silent on the controversy. Achuthanandan and Vijayan are known rivals and head the two factions of the party.

Amid speculation about whether he would inaugurate a proposed Kerala March next month led by Vijayan, the chief minister said he had not yet decided if he would go or not.

The march is meant to kickstart the Lok Sabha election campaign and the party had last month announced that Achuthanandan would inaugurate it.

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