Kerala graft case not politically motivated: Achuthanandan

February 3rd, 2009 - 11:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 3 (IANS) The rift in Kerala’s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) widened Tuesday, as Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan denied that the multi-million rupee corruption scam involving his colleague and party’s state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan was politically motivated.Achuthanandan, who is also the politburo member of the CPI-M, said he would not attend the ongoing Nava Kerala March led by Vijayan.

Vijayan, an arch rival of Achuthanandan, is an accused in a case of irregularities in awarding a contract to Canadian firm SNC Lavalin when he was the state’s power minister 12 years ago.

The Kerala High Court Monday asked Vijayan and three other accused to reply to a petition seeking their prosecution.

The politburo of the party has said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe against Vijayan was a political conspiracy.

But the chief minister denied this.

“The CBI investigation into the case was held under the observation of the Kerala High Court. So, as a chief minister, who is bound to the constitution of the country, I cannot take a stand against the court,” Achuthanandan told reporters.

“Questioning the investigation held under the court’s supervision is like challenging the court order. I am an elected representative and the chief minister of the state. I will act only on the basis of the constitution,” Achuthanandan said.

The chief minister parried a query about his stand on his ministerial colleagues, including Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who also alleged that the case was politically motivated.

He said he had informed his stand on the Nava Kerala March to the politburo. “I took the decision (not to participate in the yatra) on the basis of the facts, which I shared with the politburo.”

The chief minister, who was maintaining silence over the case till last week, said he would inform the media, if there was a threat to his chief ministership.

Achuthanandan, who invited controversy over a “dog” remark against the family of the slain NSG commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan, also called one of his comrades and Vijayan’s supporter K.E.N. Kunjumuhammed “monkey”.

Kunjumuhammed, a Marxist ideologue, while indirectly referring to the chief minister’s silence on the SNC-Lavlin scam controversy said it was an indication of a “slow brain”.

“Who cares about such monkeys,” Achuthanandan retorted when asked to comment on the criticism by Kunjumohammed.

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