Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lavalin case: Bardhan says it is an issue of CPI-M

Thrissur : Evading any direct comment on the SNC Lavalin issue in which CPI-M Kerala unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan figured prominently, CPI General Secretary, AB Bardhan today said it was a matter to be sorted out by the CPI-M in Kerala.

Since Chief Minister V S Achuthandan had stated that he would act by the Constitution, let him first clarify what he
actually meant when he said that, Bardhan said to questions from reporters on the issue.

'As an investigating agency, CBI was known for conducting impartial probes in cases referred to it. However, there were instances of it yielding to pressures from those in power,' he said.

Exuding confidence that a non-Congress non-BJP alternative would come to power after the next Lok Sabha polls, he said BJP's performance was going to be 'miserable' and Congress would not be the gainer.

Bardhan said that he had met AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa yesterday at Chennai and held discussions on broadening the
alternative front in Tamil Nadu. He said that the arrangements with TDP in Andhra Pradesh had been finalised and efforts for further broadening the front was progressing.

To a query, Bardhan said that suspension of Lok Sabha Speaker Somanath Chatterjee from CPI(M) would not make much
impact in the elections. In the prevailing political situation in West Bengal, the Left Front might lose two or three Lok Sabha seats, he said.

VS gears up for final showdown all alone

Thiruvananathapuram: While the battle in the Kerala CPI(M) has reached a flashpoint, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan finds himself beleaguered instead of his rival Pinarayi Vijayan who is facing corruption charges in the Lavalin scam. Unlike popular perception, the existential crisis is now more severe for Achuthanandan, who is the only living Communist from Kerala who was among those walked out of the national council of the CPI in 1964 to float the CPI(M).

His stand for Communist values and fight against corruption has this time pitch-forked Achuthanandan into a battle quite different from the previous ones fought against Pinarayi. The sentiments of the Communist gallery are with Achuthanandan, but the aged gladiator miserably misses a team to take on his “tainted rival”.

The veteran of many a fight has no second rung leaders to stand up for his cause as the entire party leadership has been aligned with Pinarayi. Achuthanandan has only the party mass, local level leaders, and that great history of classical Communism to fall back on at this critical juncture.

Snubbed by comrades, Kerala CM braces for big battle, even his exit

Posted: Jan 31, 2009

Thiruvananathapuram: With the CPM central leadership refusing to yield to his demand of removing state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the wake of the SNC Lavalin scandal, Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan is gearing up for his next big battle.

Leaders close to Achuthanandan are in touch with his sympathizers who were purged from the party over the last few years. The rebels are said to be in the process of setting up parallel units across the state, anticipating a possible exit of the veteran Marxist from the party.

Sources close to Achuthanandan told The Indian Express that he’s determined to walk out of the post, and perhaps even the party, if the leadership continues to back Vijayan, an accused in the SNC Lavalin case. Vijayan was the state power minister when the government-run electricity board signed a controversial deal with the Canadian power company. The CBI has sought the Governor’s permission to prosecute Vijayan.

“The process of forming shadow local units has begun in all districts,” sources among the rebels said, indicating that they are in touch with pro-Achuthanandan leaders in the party. Sources, however, said that Achuthanandan has so far not made any commitment to the rebels. He has already pulled out from the inauguration of Vijayan’s Kerala Yatra on February 2.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lavlin case: VS refuses to defend his collegue

Thursday, 29.01.2009,

TVM: The long spell of silence by V.S Achuthanandan after the coming up of the Lavlin case, has been broken yesterday when he said that he would perform the constitutional rights entrusted on him. Evidently it was sign that he was not going to defend the party secretary as the other party men had done.
He said that he had held discussions with the party general secretary on the issue during his visit to New Delhi. The central and state leadership have already termed the allegations are politically motivated in view of the forthcoming elections, the chief minister declined to offer such comments. He only said that the matter was being examined.
Both Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan were suspended from the politburo for their open criticisms last year.

VS-Vijayan feud: Is Kerala CPM heading for crisis?

Posted: Jan 29, 2009

V S Achuthanandan has refused to budge from his stubborn position against the party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

The CPI-M in Kerala appears to be heading for a crisis with party veteran and Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan refusing to budge from his stubborn position against the party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin case.

Achuthanandan's position that he would not give up the demand for action against his long-time foe Vijayan, figuring an accused in the CBI report in the case in his capacity as power minister in mid-1990s when the Lavalin deal was finalised, is also turning into a tough problem for the party central leadership as well.

Indications from the party sources is that the CPI(M) politburo is expected to meet in early February to discuss the issue again and take some stern decisions in the long-term interest of the party in the state.

As soon as the news of CBI deciding to arraign Vijayan as an accused in the case broke out, the party politburo resolved to defend him and that message was conveyed to the party state leadership.

However, Achuthanandan flew to Delhi the next day and suggested action against Vijayan. In the days that followed he chose to remain silent while other state leaders toured around the state drumming up support for Vijayan.

Though Achuthanandan broke his silence on Wednesday, it was no consolation for either Vijayan or the Central leadership. He had only said he would be acting in accordance with the Constitutional responsibilities bestowed on his. Between the lines, it is clear that he is not going to dilute his demand, unfazed by the fallout.

The local media is rife with reports that Achuthanandan has made it clear to the politburo that Vijayan should be removed from the party post since his continuance in the would cost it dearly in Lok Sabha polls.

Kerala CM's daughter in research grant row

30 Jan 2009,

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Close on the heels of the row over the SNC-Lavalin deal in which the CBI has sought to prosecute politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan, a fresh controversy over a research grant to CM V S Achuthanandan's daugther has hit the ruling CPM in Kerala. The timing of the allegation against the CM's daughter is curious. It comes a day after Achuthanandan refused to go by the party line that Pinarayi's case was politically motivated.

The controversy is over a Rs 35-lakh research grant to V V Asha, the CM's daughter who is a scientist at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology in Thiruvananthapuram. The Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), a state-run research institute, has decided to give the grant under the Marine Biotechnology Research Programme of the Kerala Biotechnology Mission, a wing of KSCSTE.

The allegation against Asha is that she doesn't have any published research paper on marine biotechnology and her selection smacks of nepotism.Achuthanandan is the president of KSCSTE in his capacity as CM.

Asha has, however, denied that there is any nepotism in her selection. She says she is not the principal researcher, but only a co-investigator in a team of researchers.

"I have more than 18 years of research experience in drug development. I've reviewed research papers for various publications and also guided students,'' Asha said defending her selection.

She said there were presently projects funded by institutions, including the department of biotechnology at the Centre going on under her guidance. "The allegations have no basis and are aimed only at maligning me,'' she said.

Posters against Karat in Kozhikode

Kozhikode: Hundreds of posters were seen pasted in and around Kozhikode town on Thursday morning asking CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat to absent himself from a feast organized by the Muslim league leader and trader Gafoor.

But Gafoor denied reports that he is arranging a feast for Prakash Karat.

Various slogans like 'Abstain from Gafoor's feast', 'Protect the Communist image' were seen in the pamphlets.

Congress to announce RS candidate Friday

Kochi: The Congress party will announce its candidate from Kerala to the Rajya Sabha on Friday, a senior party leader.

Senior Congress leader and United Democratic Front (UDF) convenor P.P. Thankachen told reporters here that the name of the candidate will be announced after a meeting of the top brass of the party is held in the state capital Friday.

The Rajya Sabha tenures of Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, senior Congress leader Thennala Balakrishnan and Communist Party of India-Marxist leader K. Chandran Pillai end next month.

The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) has 98 members while the United Democratic Front (UDF) has 42 members in the 140-member state legislative assembly - the electoral college for the Rajya Sabha.

With more seats in the assembly, it is expected that the LDF will romp home with two seats while the UDF will win one.

'Hectic discussions are on in Delhi and it will be finalised there itself and tomorrow (Friday) it would only be a mere announcement here,' said a Congress leader who did not wish to be identified.

The names of state chief of the Congress Ramesh Chennithala, Vayalar Ravi and 90-year-old K. Karunakaran are doing the rounds for the lone seat the Congress, the dominant party in the UDF, can win from the state.

'Staking a claim by Karunakaran is nothing but a ploy to secure a seat to his nominee when the 17 candidates are finalised for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections,' added the Congress leader.

Beware traffic offenders as Kochi police go Blackberry

Kochi: Traffic offenders here have to be doubly careful from now onwards as the city traffic police, perhaps for the first time in the country, are armed with Blackberry mobiles, especially designed to track down vehicle details from Regional Transport Office database in a jiffy.

Under the pilot project launched by Kerala Government, complete information about the vehicle and its owner could be instantly accessed by policemen using Blackberry mobile phones, which hitherto remained a proud possession of the elite class, especially top company executives.

Three complimentary Blackberry handsets were handed over to the police personnel here yesterday by Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan in the presence of DGP Jacob Punnoose. The technology has been developed by mobile service provider Vodafone (Kerala) with the assistance of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) based on a request from the city police.

Vodafone has been associating with the Kerala police over the last two years providing technological solutions and this project was part of the partnership, its Senior Vice-President and Head (Marketing) R Suresh Kumar told PTI here. The phones will be connected through a network with the database of the motor vehicle department enabling the traffic police to access details of vehicles and the owners.

Once the vehicle or license number of the offender is fed into the handset, complete details regarding the owner of the vehicle, his license number and details like whether the vehicle was involved previously in any other offence and the registration number, could be obtained from the server, he said.The Vodafone Blackberry handsets would also help the police register cases on the spot.

They also have a wireless printing technology with which challans could be served to the accused and penalty collected, Sureshkumar said.

The receipts will give the details of the violation committed by the offender, he said. The project is being implemented in the city on an experimental basis and it was for the government and police to take a decision on expanding it to other parts of the state,
he said.

Traffic offenders would not be able to escape by providing false address as the Blackberry will flash the full details of the offender at a touch of the button, he said.

Each Blackberry mobile handset cost around Rs 14,000 to Rs 15,000, he said. Balakrishnan had stated on the occasion that the state government would be implementing a Rs 20 crore project for complete modernisation of the intelligence system of the state police force. Centre had agreed to provide Rs 15 crore for the project, he said.

The project was aimed at bringing in latest developments in science and technology in the modernisation of the intelligence wing of the police. Other mobile service providers could also come forward with similar initiatives, the Minister said. PTI

Achuthanandan's daughter in research fund row

Thiruvananthapuram: Amid the din in the CPI-M over SNC-Lavalin corruption case in which CBI has sought to arraign party state Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan as an accused, a new controversy has broken out over the sanction of a research grant to Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan's daughter.

The move of the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) to sanction a Rs 35 lakh
research grant to the Chief Minister's daughter, V V Asha, a scientist with Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnolgy, has run
into controversy with media reports stating that awarding of the academic project involved irregularities and nepotism.

Reports in local media said the fund had been approved by the Kerala Biotechnology Mission, a wing of KSCSTE, headed by
Achuthanandan in his capacity as Chief Minister. The project was not properly evaluated and the fund was approved to Asha
only to please Achuthanandan, the reports said.

Meanwhile, Asha rejected the charge that the grant involved any sort of irregularity since she was only a co-investigator in the project on Marine Bio-Technology which has three other scientists as the team members.

'The grant is not meant for any individual. I am only part of it. I S Bright Singh, who heads the Marine Bio-Technology department in Cochin University is its head,' Asha told PTI, adding that no amount had been sanctioned and the institute
had not received any papers in this regard.

Stating that she had a 15 years' research experience, Asha said she would be doing only a part of the research programme. 'The controversy has been raked up just because I happen to be the daughter of the Chief Minister,' she added.

The fresh controversy followed last week's move by CBI to seek court's permission to arraign Vijayan, a former minister,
as an accused in the Lavalin corruption case. PTI

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

‘LDF trying to overcast Lavalin’

Thiruvananthapuram, Tuesday 27 January 2009: KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala here today said that LDF government is trying to dig down the SNC Lavalin case. Government should ask the governor to prosecute Pinarayi Vijayan in this case.

Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Devaswom Minister G Sudhakaran should resign in the wake of speaking in support to Pinarayi Vijayan and they did this against the constitution, Ramesh Chennithala added.

Ramesh Chennithala was speaking to the media persons after the KPCC meeting.

Lavalin case: VS spells stand in his own way

January 28, 2009

Not yet decided on Nava Kerala Yathra, says Achuthanandan

Mr Achuthanandan avoided a direct reply on questions regarding the official stand of the party in the Lavalin case. But the CM spelled his differences with the party leadership in a tactical manner, by refraining from singing in the party tune that the case is politically motivated.

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan today clarified stand in the SNC Lavalin case involving Pinarayi Vijayan, in his own typical manner. Briefing media after the meeting of the state cabinet VS made it clear that he was conducting the duties which the constitution demands from him as the CM of the state.

The Chief Minister said that the CBI has requested permission for prosecution of the former officials who are part of the Lavalin case. The CBI has sought approval for prosecution of Mohana Chandran, the former principal secretary of the power department and Francis, the joint secretary of the same department.

No other matters related to the Lavalin case are under the consideration of the cabinet. Mr Achuthanandan also announced that the government would take a final decision regarding granting permission for prosecution after consulting the law department.

The Chief Minister said that he is yet to take a final decision regarding the participation in the inaugural function of Nava Kerala Yathra, under the leadership of Pinarayi Vijayan. He stated that his recent trip to New Delhi was intended to clarify to the central leadership his stand on the SNC Lavalin case.

Mr Achuthanandan avoided a direct reply on questions regarding the official stand of the party in the Lavalin case. But the CM spelled his differences with the party leadership in a tactical manner, by refraining from singing in the party tune that the case is politically motivated.

HC to examine SNC Lavlin case next Monday

Kochi: The High Court will examine the CBI report in the SNC Lavlin case which had named CPI party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan as the ninth accused next Monday. As some of the accused are social activists or former government servants, the prosecution will file the chargesheet only after getting the proper sanction from the Governor.

The Advocate General of People's Council for Civil Rights cited a few examples where the Supreme Court had earlier filed chargesheets without seeking any prior permission.

Justice K B Koshi and Justice V Giri had been entrusted with the charge of probing the case.

The CBI has forwarded the initial investigation reports to the High Court the other day.

High Court seeks advocate general's views on Lavalin case

Kochi: A division bench of the Kerala High Court Tuesday sought Advocate General C.P. Sudhakara Prasad's views on a petition filed by an NGO for prosecuting Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, accused in a multi-million rupee scam by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
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.

The division bench of acting Chief Justice J.B. Koshy and Justice V. Giri asked Prasad for his views to be filed before next Monday.

Kochi-based NGO People's Council for Civil Rights had last week filed a petition to prosecute Vijayan, stating that no sanction was required from the prosecution side.

The NGO had filed the petition after reports surfaced that the CBI, to proceed against Vijayan, has to get a sanction from the prosecution since he is a former minister.

The NGO said no such sanction was required, citing Supreme Court rulings.

The CBI, meanwhile, told the court that their investigation was complete and handed over the findings in a sealed cover.

CPI-M Politburo's stand on Lavalin case surprising

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress' Kerala unit president Ramesh Chennithala Tuesday expressed surprise at the way the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo was reacting to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) naming state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan as an accused in a multi-million rupee scam.
Speaking to reporters here, Chennithala said it was startling the way in which the CPI-M politburo was looking into this 'clean case of corruption.'

'The CPI-M has to go in for a judicial scrutiny and not take law into their hands. If their leader Vijayan is clean, then why are they not dealing it in that manner. Something is wrong somewhere and (party general secretary) Prakash Karat, who always speaks against corruption, is now nowhere to be seen. He is scared to even call a press conference,' Chennithala said.

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 to Canadian company SNC Lavalin the contracts to renovate two hydro-power projects 12 years ago.

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

'The politburo should now ask the state government to ask the Kerala Governor to give sanction to prosecute Vijayan,' said Chennithala.

The Congress leader's statement came some hours after a division bench of acting Chief Justice J.B. Koshy and Justice V. Giri sought Advocate General C.P. Sudhakara Prasad's views on a petition filed by an NGO for prosecuting Vijayan.

Kochi-based NGO People's Council for Civil Rights last week filed a petition to prosecute Vijayan, and maintained that the prosecution did not require to take sanction from the governor.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

BJP hopes to break no-win jinx in Kerala

New Delhi : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has not won a single Assembly or Lok Sabha seat in Kerala till now, is hoping to break the jinx in the upcoming Parliamentary elections.

The BJP's central election committee on Monday announced 18 candidates for the April-May Lok Sabha elections, of whom six are from Kerala.

Party leaders feel there is a change in the perception of the Kerala voter and the youngsters would vote for the BJP this time.

"We will contest all the 20 seats in Kerala. We will try every option to upset the two fronts led respectively by the Congress and the CPI(M)," BJP State unit president P.K. Krishnadas told IANS over telephone.

Party leaders feel the people of Kerala are disenchanted with the way the Congress party, which heads the United Democratic Front (UDF), and the communists are opposing each other in the southern State but are quick to join hands in Delhi to keep the BJP at bay.

The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by the CPI(M) won 18 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala in 2004.

"The UDF and the LDF fight each other here, but in Delhi they gang up to keep our party away from power. Kerala's educated people, especially young voters, are aware of this drama. So, they will vote for us in the coming elections," the party's State vice president, V. Muraleedharan, told IANS.

He also feels that the BJP's victory in the Assembly elections in neighbouring Karnataka "has had a good impact in Kerala". "These factors will help the party to open an account in the State," he said.

The BJP leaders also cite CPI(M) MP A.P. Abdullakutty's praise for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's development agenda as a symbol of the change in attitude among the Muslims and Leftists in the State.

The leaders also give the example of the 2004 victory of then Indian Federal Democratic Party (IFDP) leader P.C. Thomas in the election to the Muvattupuzha seat with the support of the BJP. The party had campaigned for Thomas.

Kerala people cannot be misled by fabricated cases: Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram : 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.

Civil war in Kerala CPM hots up -News Archive

8 Dec 2008, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: After the Kerala state unit leadership and the bureaucracy, it was the turn of the chief minister’s personal staff, both CPM state committee members, to petition against V S Achuthanandan’s administrative inadequacies.

At a meeting of the CPM state committee at Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday, private secretary to the chief minister S Rajendran and VS’ political secretary K N Balagopal, came out against the functioning of the chief minister. They alleged that the actions of the chief minister are being dictated by a coterie. Some participants at the meeting went to the extent of seeking his removal from the post.

This cannot but be distressing for the central leadership, particularly general secretary Prakash Karat, for a variety of reasons. One, Mr Achuthanandan was foisted on the state unit disregarding its strident opposition from the dominant section. The state unit was against giving a party nomination to VS. The state committee gave in following pressure from the central leadership.

The civil war-like situation in the Kerala CPM comes just before the Lok Sabha polls. With the Kerala government perceived to be amassing negatives with every passing day, the latest development could mar the Left’s electoral prospects. Already, its performance track record seems to have antagonised a large section of the electorate. Even Left leaders admit that the performance of the government is areas like education, health care, infrastructure development and employment generation are far from satisfactory.

The inner strife in the party also comes at a time when the CPM is sharpening its attack against the Centre over governance issues. The functioning of the state government is certain to raise doubts about the party’s capability to provide coherent and credible governance. On its part, the central leadership has not yet shown any urgency to intervene and set things right in Kerala and is trying to play down the discord within the party in the state. At the state committee meeting in Thiruvananthapuram where a majority of the members hit out at the chief minister, central representative S Ramachandran Pillai chose to remain a spectator. But senior party leaders said the polit bureau will discuss the issue once the state committee sends its report to it.

Bitter wrangle in CPM’s Kerala unit -News Archive

Bitter wrangle in CPM’s Kerala unit ahead of Assembly polls
Row over CPM state secretariat decision to keep Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan out of polls.

March 17, 2006

The CPM is facing its worst crisis in the southern Indian state of Kerala, where elections are slated to be held in a month.

The latest crisis revolves around veteran leader and politburo member V S Achuthanandan, considered a hardliner, who has been reportedly kept out of the candidates list.

This would mean that VS, the present Opposition leader, would not be the party’s chief ministerial candidate. In the last elections, the party had projected VS as its CM candidate, but the party failed to get a majority.

The two-day CPM state committee and state secretariat meet held in state capital Thiruvananthapuram failed to resolve the issue. CPM general secretary Prakash Karat left for Delhi, apparently for briefing the central leadership about what he reportedly termed as the “explosive situation” in the Kerala unit of the party.

While the official faction led by CPM state secretary Pinarayi is hell bent on keeping VS out of the electoral fray, majority of party cadres are reportedly in favour of the veteran leader.

There has been widespread protests against the reported move to keep VS out of the fray. In the state committee meeting held on Thursday afternoon, 27 of the 52 members opposed the state secretariat decision to leave out VS.

As the official faction insisted on keeping out the veteran of many a political battle in Kerala out of the fray, the meeting was adjourned without announcing any decision, following which Karat left for Delhi.

Senior central leaders of CPM are reportedly trying to pacify VS, who is reportedly now not keen to contest after the bitter wrangle over his candidature.

Pinrayi himself has opted out of fray, considering that the state secretary rarely contests the poll.

It may be recalled that Karat himself had announced that VS would lead the party in Kerala polls. But after VS made it clear that he wouldn’t be on the forefront if he is not the CPM’s official CM candidate, Karat is in a fix to save his face.

The bitter wrangling in the CPM has already rejuvenated the ruling United Democratic Front, which had least hopes of coming back a month back after a series of electoral drubbings.

The UDF is now in talks to wean back the Democratic Indira Congress (K), the party founded by former Congress leader K Karunakaran, which had sided with the LDF in the Thiruvananthapuram Parliamentary by-poll, which the LDF emerged victorious.

VS Achuthanandan was in the forefront of the CPM faction that did not want any ties with DIC (K), while the official faction led by Pinarayi wanted DIC (K) to be accommodated in LDF.

The party central leadership toed VS’ line on that issue, but this time, it seems the official faction is hell bent on ousting its commander in the previous polls from the last electoral battle he had looked for in his political career.

Antony to stand in for PM in R-Day functions

New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony will stand in for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is undergoing a bypass surgery, at the Republic Day function, the defence ministry said.

Antony will lead the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, Monday morning, a defence ministry spokesperson said.

'These are defence ministry functions and it is normal for the defence minister to perform the role in the absence of the prime minister,' ministry spokerperson Sitanshu Kar told IANS.

Singh, who is undergoing a bypass surgery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), will miss the Republic Day function this year.

'The defence minister will receive President Pratibha Patil and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, India's guest of honour at the Republic Day parade, at Rajpath on Monday,' Kar said.

Antony will also preside over the National Cadet Corps (NCC) rally Jan 28 and host a tea party for the NCC cadets and members of the Republic Day tableau at the lounge of Teen Murti Bhawan.

According to doctors, Singh likely to remain in hospital for a week after the bypass surgery. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is officiating in place of Manmohan Singh, till he fully recovers.

`I am a God fearing communist': Abdullakutty MP

AP Abdullakkutty, the youngest MP from the state, has openly questioned the party and asked it to make its stand clear on religion and faith. Being a Communist does not mean that I should not believe in God. Nowhere is it said or written -- be it Marxist-Leninist doctrines or party manifestoes -- that a Communist should be an atheist. Most party cadres are believers, Abdullakutty quoted as saying in exclusive interview given to online portal

Religion plays a key role in understanding the social paradigm.I am an ordinary human being, a God-believing Muslim. That is why I went and performed the Umra. That only enhanced my respect for other religions. In a country like India, where religion has deep roots, it is important for the party to make the stand clear on religion. It is not a question you can shy away from. The party should be open for a debateand then publicly announcea renewed stand.I am proud to say that I am a Communist who believes in God,.

By saying openly on such issue MP doesn't believe that this will affect his political career`` I have just expressed what most cadres think and believe.'', he said. . If the party wants me as an MLA or MP, I will be happy to carry out my duty. But tomorrow, if it decides against my candidacy, I will accept it and work as an ordinary party worker. A real Communist is never after any ceremonial posts. The party is supreme, he said.

The article written by MP in `the MathrubhumiI `Yatra' magazine kicked up the first row in which he met a Nadi astrologer.
But MP said ``I have said why I went. Thanjavur always attracts two kinds of people -- one to know the future, the other tourists. India's culture is different. So is our ethos. There is myth, fact and fiction. I can't run away from the age-old customs and beliefs. There is no harm in visiting such places. But I repeat -- it was pure curiosity that took me there.''

He went and performed the Umra, ruffling many feathers which made the matter s worse and through many publications he made many statements which all disturbed the party and made a point for discussion in party meetings. As MP is again and against making his stand clear there is no doubt that the matter will become a piece for discussion in national level too.

No intention at present of absorbing Abdullakutty: League

Kozhikode:The IUML has made it clear that the party has no intention at present to absorb CPI(M) MP A P Abdullakutty, suspended for praising the development model pursued by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, despite his
recent 'League-friendly' remarks.

'The League considers it as valid credit (Abdullakutty's remarks), but we are not thinking of absorbing him into our
party,' IUML state general secretary P K Kunhalikutty said, addressing a public meeting organised as part of the golden jubilee celebrations of IUML student-wing MSF here last night.

Attending the MSF meet on Friday, Abdullakutty said that the League was a mainstream secular party of the minority
community. 'The role played by the League in checking the onslaught of terrorism is simply great,' Abdullakutty had said, adding that IUML was a party committed to defending secularism,
democracy and socialism.

However, IUML leader Panakkad Syed Mohammadali Shihab Thangal, who appealed to Muslim community at the meeting to
come forward to 'guard their esteem' and preserve communal harmony, did not react to the issue.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Comrade Pinarayi liquidator: Poster

Comrade Pinarayi liquidator: Poster
Asianet News
Saturday, January 24, 2009

Posters at Kottayam tie Pinarayi along with accused in the Abhaya case.

The poster accuses that the CBI is crucifying Mr Pinaray Vijayan and the accused in the Sister Abhaya Case. By putting the name of the CPI (M) leader along with the three accused in the Abhaya case, the poster mocks of the partial stand adopted by the CPI (M) in two cases handled by the CBI.

New Delhi: Exposing the factionalism within the CPI (M) posters against Pinarayi Vijayan and pledging support to VS Achuthanandan appeared in New Delhi. The posters term Mr Vijayan as the liquidator of the party and calls upon to march behind Mr VS Achuthanandan. The posters also serves message to the central leadership of the party, urging to expel Mr Vijayan, the tainted leader.

Another set of interesting posters appeared at different parts of Kottayam town. The poster accuses that the CBI is crucifying Mr Pinarayi Vijayan and the accused in the Sister Abhaya Case. By putting the name of the CPI (M) leader along with the three accused in the Abhaya case, the poster mocks of the partial stand adopted by the CPI (M) in two cases handled by the CBI.

VS vs Pinarayi The long and short of it - History

A brief history of love-hate in the Kerala CPI(M)

Factional infighting within the Kerala unit of the CPI(M) is not a new phenomenon. Earlier, it used to be based on ideological differences rather than ego clashes. Personal affiliations and egos never came in the picture as first generation communist leaders were committed to the cause of the working class. Their ideology was to lead the class struggle, not to grab power.

Later, getting in power became the focus of the CPI(M)'s political activity in Kerala. After the 1980s, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by CPI(M) won the elections. This led to new trends within the party as a new generation of middle-class members got into the party leadership. The party also started having multiple voices with no common ideology. The old guard found these new leaders convenient for their own ends. New associations with the rich and powerful opened up doors to drawing rooms of the elite, who earlier despised the communists as 'criminals'. These new moneyed friends influenced party ideology and programmes, but the leadership convinced the comrades that the party is adopting these strategies only to infiltrate into the middle classes and make the revolution an easier task.

This was followed by asset creation by the party. New bungalows and modern buildings housed party offices, new cars were bought for district secretaries and state office bearers and party leaders became frequent fliers. Then, the party started its own profit-making television channel, Kairalee, which showed that investment in high-tech areas could be rewarding and profitable. (Old comrades may ideologically beg to differ with the party running a television channel and making its presence in middle class drawing rooms, but they too now love to watch Kairalee as its ratings rise every day).

The influence of money and power has helped the party manage its assets but has also added fuel to factional infighting. The power struggle between CITU and other factions, including VS Achuthanandan's (VS) factions, contributed to his defeat in the Mararikulam legislative assembly constituency, a CPI(M) stronghold, in the 1996 elections. With vengeance, VS clipped the wings of several CITU leaders who masterminded his defeat. VS believed he was defeated to eliminate his natural claim to become chief minister. From then onward, the infighting has not stopped.

When EK Nayanar was elected chief minister, Chadayan Govindan replaced him as party state secretary. In 1998, Pinarayi Vijayan was elected state secretary after Govindan's death. VS has always been fighting with the party leadership in one way or another. Earlier, he struggled against veteran EMS Namboodiripad (EMS), who controlled party affairs at the state and central levels. As long as EMS was alive, no infighting came out in the open as no one dared to leak out internal discussions. With erosion of party discipline, factional infighting spread across the state units. Although VS initially supported Pinarayi for party secretary, he found Pinarayi a threat as the latter started controlling party affairs and the factional agendas of VS.

Thereafter, VS loyalists embarked upon an image-building exercise, projecting him as a legendary communist who contributed immensely for the party, a born fighter who does not make compromises, eco-sensitive, with a clean record — something Kerala was missing.

In his new incarnation, VS was a changed man. Friendly and accessible to the media, he found new friends in all walks of life — advocates, IT professionals, civil servants, journalists, environmental activists and writers. With their help, he created a knowledge bank for image promotion activities. But the event managers knew this would not last long. So they started an offensive campaign against political rivals, with Pinarayi as their prime target. They collected evidence against Pinarayi from all possible quarters. His foreign trips, friends and activities, all came under the scanner, with the media churning out exposés. Pinarayi could not check these campaigns, and soon, was discredited.

When he identified the men behind the 'VS campaigns', he uprooted them from the party. Around 1,000 party cadres at various levels are facing disciplinary proceedings in the state. Recently, both leaders started accusing each other in public and the politburo had to suspend them. Both camps are, however, still active but cautious. Given their history of bitter infighting, this pause is but an interval. The film's climax is yet to begin.

Jeemon Jacob Thiruvananthapuram

Lavalingate: Clinching proof against Pinarayi

24 Jan 2009,

NEW DELHI: The self-righteous CPM may find the going tough as the CBI has claimed to have found clinching evidence that its Kerala unit secretary
Pinarayi Vijayan had indulged in a criminal conspiracy and abuse of his position as electricity minister to cut a sweetheart deal with Canadian power company SNC-Lavalin.

The CBI has charged Mr Vijayan with colluding with then principal secretary in power department K Mohanachandran and joint secretary A Francis to swing the deal in SNC Lavalin’s favour. According to the progress report submitted to a CBI court in Kochi, the contract was awarded without taking the permission of the Centre or calling a global tender.

Under the rules, any contract over Rs 100 crore require sanction from the Centre. The SNC Lavalin deal was worth Rs 374.50 crore. Besides, the then government did not abide by the NHPC guidelines. The CBI has said that even the Kerala Cabinet was not properly briefed and vital information was deliberately suppressed. Dubbing the contract as illegal, the CBI’s progress report said the Kerala government incurred a loss of around Rs 86 crore.

Mr Vijayan is the ninth among the 11 accused in the report on the deal awarded in 1997 to renovate and modernise three power projects in Kerala’s Idukki district. The accusations against Vijayan are bound to be disturbing for the CPM, which was waiting to see the ‘specific charges’ against him.

It has been taking refuge in the spurious argument that the CBI case against him was politically motivated. Though the party polit bureau backed Mr Vijayan and is questioning the credibility of the CBI, the chief minister has queered the pitch for Vijayan by demanding his removal from the party post at an in-house meeting.

The investigation by the vigilance department was handed over to the CBI on January 17, 2007, by the Kerala high court, which is monitoring the progress of the investigations. Incidentally, the polit bureau had on Thursday claimed the probe was ordered on the behest of the previous Ommen Chandy government.

Others accused in the case include K G Rajasekharan, Mr Mathew Roy, Mr R Sivadasan, Kasturiranga Iyer, A Gopalakrishnan, P A Sidhartha Menon, Mr Claud Tindel and SNC Lavalin.

CBI seeks to arraign Pinarayi

Kochi: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday filed a report before a CBI Special Court here seeking to arraign Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI(M) secretary of Kerala and former Power Minister; A. Francis, former Joint-Secretary (Power), and the Canada-based company SNC Lavalin as accused no. 9, 10 and 11 in the SNC Lavalin corruption case.

The CBI case was that the former Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) officials and others had hatched a criminal conspiracy among themselves and with the senior vice-president of SNC Lavalin in awarding contract for the renovation and modernisation of Pallivasal, Sengulam and Panniyar hydro-electric projects to the Canadian company at a higher rate, violating the rules and regulations, thereby causing a loss to the tune of Rs.390 crore to the KSEB and the government. The CBI alleged that the failure to get a binding agreement executed by the company for ensuring a promised grant for setting up the proposed Malabar Cancer Centre at Thalassery had caused a loss to the tune of Rs.86.25 crore.

The report said that Mr. Vijayan, while serving as the Minister for Electricity during May 1996-October 1998, had colluded with Mr. Mohanachandran and joined in the criminal conspiracy during 1995 in the awarding the contract to the Canadian company.

Remove Pinarayi from party post, BJP

Kannur, Friday 23 Jan 2009: BJP State president P.K. Krishnadas has urged the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau to remove party State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan from his post after his name has been reportedly figured as one of those to be named as accused in the SNC Lavalin case.

Krishnadas said that the report submitted by the CBI to the court after completing the investigation into the case reportedly included Vijayan, who had been Electricity Minister when the Kerala State Electricity Board concluded the contract with the Canadian company SNC Lavalin for renovation of three hydro-electric projects in Idukki, as one of the accused in the case.

Preliminary investigation conducted by the CBI over the past two years had revealed huge financial irregularities in the contract, he said adding that the contract had been completed in defiance of legal procedures. The contract had not led to generation of a single additional unit of electricity, he pointed out.

The BJP leader said the CPM leadership should explain Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s statement on Wednesday that the CBI’s attempt to frame Mr. Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin case would be dealt with politically. The party also owed an explanation to the public as to how the “pay-off” from the contract had been spent. He also wondered if the CBI had delayed its report so long because of its earlier support to the United Progressive Alliance government.

SNC: CBI places Pinarayi as 9th accused

Thiruvananthapuram, Friday, January 23, 2009: Based on the progress report produced by the CBI in the court a private channel has confirmed that CPM State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan is the ninth accused in the case, followed by former electricity department joint secretary A Francis who is the tenth accused. Former electricity department principal secretary K Mohanachandran is the first accused in the Rs 300-crore SNC-Lavalin scam.

In its report, the CBI has alleged that Pinarayi Vijayan who was the electricity minister then, was is involved in the criminal conspiracy related to the case and the agreement with the SNC Lavalin company was finalized without consulting the central government or Central energy department, Hydel Power Corporation.

The report further says that, the agreement had flouted all guidelines and points out serious lapses. The involvement of Malabar Cancer Centre at Kodiyeri near Thalassery, which is an autonomous centre under Government of Kerala is also dubious. About Rs 100 crore, which was promised by the Canadian, firm Lavalin for the development of the Malabar Cancer Center. However, only about Rs 16 crore was given to the center.

The findings and suggestions of E Balanandan and Zubaida Committees constituted by the Government were ignored.

The progress report in the case was submitted on Thursday before the High Court and CBI Special court by CBI Chennai unit DYSP, Ashok Kumar, in a sealed cover, ahead of the January 23 deadline set by the High Court to the agency to complete the investigation and file its report.

The 11-year-old politically sensitive case relates to alleged corruption with regard to the award of consultancy and renovation contracts of Panniyar, Shengulam and Pallivasal hydel projects to Canada’s biggest engineering firm, SNC Lavalin, which caused a loss of about Rs 374.5 crore to the state exchequer.

According to CBI sources, investigation has been completed and charge sheet will be filed against the accused after obtaining sanction from the Governor and Chief secretary.

The CPM polit bureau, which met extended its full support to Pinarayi Vijayan asserting that the party leader was innocent.

This is the first time that a polit bureau member was facing corruption charges. The timing of the case is also causing tremendous worry for state CPM as the Lok Sabha elections are just two months away.

Malayalee recipients for Ashoka Chakra

New Delhi, Friday 23 January 2009: Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Colonel Jojan Thomas were among the eleven brave hearts who are to be honoured with the Ashok Chakra, posthumously, on Republic Day.

Major Unnikrishnan was the team commander of 51 SAG deployed in the operation at the Taj Mahal Hotel to rid the building of terrorists and rescue the hostages. He entered the Hotel in a group of 10 commandos and reached the sixth floor through the staircase. As the team descended the stairs, they sensed the terrorist at the third floor. The terrorists had held a few women as hostages in a room and locked it from the inside. After breaking open the door, the round of fire by the terrorists hit Commando Sunil Yadav, who was Major Unnikrishnan’s buddy pair.

Major Unnikrishan led his team from the front and engaged the terrorists in a fierce gunfight. He arranged for Commando Sunil Yadav’s evacuation and regardless of personal safety chased the terrorists who, meanwhile, escaped to another floor of the hotel, and while doing so Major Sandeep continuously engaged them. In the encounter that followed, he was shot from the back, seriously injured and succumbed to injuries.

Sandeep joined the National Defence Academy (India) in 1995. He was a Cadet, part of the Oscar Squadron (No 4 Battalion) and a pass out of the 94th Course of NDA. He graduated as a Bachelor of Arts (Social science stream).

His NDA buddies remember him as “selfless”, “generous” and “calm and composed”.

Col Jojan Thomas was commissioned on 08 Mar 86 from OTA, Chennai in 11 JAT Regt. Besides holding prestigious staff appointments as GSO-1 (Ops) 3 Corps and Instructor FTM, ASC Centre & College Bangalore was also an experienced Pilot (flying). Despite the injury Col Thomas continued the search in the dense forested area and again confronted the terrorists. This resulted in the death of two more terrorists. However, Col Thomas too suffered fatal injuries in the fresh firefight and succumbed to his injuries. So far the unit has received confirmation of six terrorists having been killed.

The prestigious Ashok Chakra award is India’s highest peacetime gallantry award. It is also the peacetime equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra and is given “for the most conspicuous bravery or some act of daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice otherwise than in the face of the enemy”.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Text of President Obama's inauguration speech

Associated Press
Posted: Jan 21, 2009

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, said Barack Obama.

Text of President Barack Obama's inaugural address on Tuesday, as prepared for delivery and released by the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Obama: My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

Key terror accused caught in Kerala

Posted: Jan 21, 2009 at 0104 hrs IST

The Kerala Police on Tuesday nabbed Sainudheen, alias Abdul Sathar, a key figure in the country’s Terror web, from Hyderabad.

A native of Kondotty in north Kerala’s Malappuram district, Sainudheen has been on top of the wanted list of Gujarat, Delhi, Maharashtra and Karantaka for his alleged role in blasts in those states, said State Intelligence sources.

The Kerala Police turned their spotlight on Sainudheen after his involvement in the recent terror recruiting from the state was exposed in the wake of the killing of four militants in Kashmir.

Sainudheen, who has been involved in terrorist activities for over a decade, has reportedly undergone LeT training. Abdul Raheem, one of the four suspected LeT militants from Kerala who were killed in Kashmir last October, was the son-in-law of Sainudheen.

Abdul Jabber, who escaped during the encounter at Kupwara, was his brother-in-law. According to sources, Sainudheen’s arrest may lead to clues about the funding of terror activities in Kerala, which the state police has not been able to crack thus far

CBI set to prosecute CPM Kerala boss, party in a fix

Posted: Jan 22, 2009

CBI seeking prosecution of the accused in the Lavalin case is expected to make poll campaigning difficult for the LDF.

CBI's move to seek Government's consent to prosecute the accused in politically sensitive SNC Lavalin corruption case is expected to make the Lok Sabha poll campaign difficult for ruling LDF as the contract with the Canadian firm was finalised in mid-1990s when the present CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan was the Power Minister.

Though the investigating agency, which filed the progress report in the case in the Kerala High Court on Wednesday, has not named the then power minister, it was Vijayan, who was the minister in-charge of the portfolio then.

This has been further reinforced by the assertion of state Home Minister and CPI-M Polit Bureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan that the party would counter the ‘heinous political move’ to use CBI to ‘frame’ Vijayan in the case to settle political scores with the Left for withdrawing support to the Manmohan Singh Government.

The case pertained to huge loss suffered by the state and corruption allegedly involved in awarding the contract to SNC Lavalin for renovation of three hydro electric projects -- Pallivasal, Changulam and Panniar.

The MoU with the Canadian firm for a consultancy contract was signed when the Congress-led UDF was in power but this was changed into equipment supply and erection contract by the LDF Government in 1996.

CPM sources alleged that was it part of a clever and calculated move by the investigating agency to obtain permission from the Governor and Chief Secretary for prosecuting the accused.

This could pre-empt the accused delaying the case further by arguing that prior consent of competent authorities is required before starting prosecution proceedings since they had held constitutional or high official positions earlier.

The case comes at a time when the CPM in the state is faced with some internal problems like suspension of its Lok Sabha member from Kannur A P Abdullakutty for praising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and rebellion in the rank and file in party strongholds like Shoranur in Palakkad and Inchiyam in Kozhikode.

The party was also getting ready for across-the-state road campaign 'Nava Kerala' march led by Vijayan, to gear up the party ranks for the Lok Sabha polls.

On Wednesday, the CBI, complying with the Kerala High Court’s directive, filed a report about the progress of the investigation. It also filed a separate report before the CBI Court in Ernakulam, listing the accused. The agency has not publicly named Mr. Vijayan among the accused.

Highly placed sources in the CPI(M) told The Hindu that the party would do everything possible to expose the “devious” game of the UPA leadership, which was using the CBI to settle scores with the CPI(M) for withdrawal of Left support to the UPA regime.

Although reporters approached Mr. Vijayan, he refused to be drawn into a discussion on the subject. “Let everything come out. Then I will react.”

Members of the CPI(M) State secretariat present in the State capital met to take stock of the situation. The case relates to the award of a contract for modernising three ageing hydro-electric projects to the Canadian firm in 1998, when Mr. Vijayan was Power Minister.

The State exchequer is estimated to have suffered a loss of Rs. 374.50 crores on account of the contract.

CBI probe puts CPM Kerala state secretary in a spot

Thiruvananthapuram: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is all set to chargesheet CPI-M State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the multi-crore SNC Lavlin case. This comes at a very wrong time for the CPM in Kerala as the party is going into election mode.

CPM leaders say this is an act of revenge while it is a charge which the Congress denies.

AICC Spokesperson Manish Tiwari said, “To start attributing motives to agencies even before things come to the court is not done. After all CBI is a professional agency.”

In 1997 when Vijayan was the power minister, the Kerala government entered into a contract with the Canadian company SNC Lavlin to renovate and modernise three hydro electric projects.

Later a CAG report showed that the Rs 375-crore project money was wasted as the company did not complete it.

The government also had a sub-deal with the company to mobilise Rs 98 crore for a cancer hospital controlled by the party but of this only Rs 9 crore came.

“Eventually if this results in conviction then at that stage the CPM will have egg on its face. Then it will not be easy for the party to convince the general public that it has been victimsed for political reasons,” political analyst BRP Bhaskar said.

If the CBI chargesheets him, it will be Pinarayi Vijayan's political waterloo. For now the party in Kerala is strongly behind him, something that could just change the moment the CBI comes out with some credible evidence in the court.

Draft Kerala road development policy proposes fuel cess, levies

It includes north-south transport corridor, developing missing links of hill highway

Rs.54,000-crore outlay in the next 12 years

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The draft Kerala road development policy, released by Public Works Minister Mons Joseph here on Thursday, proposes introduction of a cess on fuel, levy on utilities and services on road sides and a deterrent fee on luxury vehicles to fund higher levels of road development over the next 12 years.

The draft, prepared by a task force headed by consulting transport planner Arun Herur, emphasises improvement of quality of existing roads, development of a north-south transport corridor and development of missing links of the hill highway and coastal roads. The draft policy estimates an outlay of nearly Rs. 54,000 crore for road development over the next 12 years, which works out to an annual requirement of about Rs. 3,000 crore during the first two years and Rs. 4,700 crore during the next 10 years. Of this, Rs. 550 crore is to be raised as additional revenue into the Road Development Fund through user fee and other levies. The draft proposes that the government amend the Road Development Fund Act to enable the fund to function and operate as an autonomous financial institution.

There is a potential to mobilise over Rs.100 crore to the fund a year if tolls are introduced on the improved network of State highways.

Currently, 10 per cent of the motor vehicle registration fee amounting to Rs.30 crore goes into the fund every year. This should be increased to 20 per cent. The provisions of the Highway Protection Act could be used to mobilise additional revenues. As development of highways results in enhancement of land values, 10 per cent of revenue earned from land registrations and transfers besides fee for granting changes in land use should be allocated to the fund.

Draft Kerala road development policy proposes fuel cess, levies

It includes north-south transport corridor, developing missing links of hill highway

Rs.54,000-crore outlay in the next 12 years

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The draft Kerala road development policy, released by Public Works Minister Mons Joseph here on Thursday, proposes introduction of a cess on fuel, levy on utilities and services on road sides and a deterrent fee on luxury vehicles to fund higher levels of road development over the next 12 years.

The draft, prepared by a task force headed by consulting transport planner Arun Herur, emphasises improvement of quality of existing roads, development of a north-south transport corridor and development of missing links of the hill highway and coastal roads. The draft policy estimates an outlay of nearly Rs. 54,000 crore for road development over the next 12 years, which works out to an annual requirement of about Rs. 3,000 crore during the first two years and Rs. 4,700 crore during the next 10 years. Of this, Rs. 550 crore is to be raised as additional revenue into the Road Development Fund through user fee and other levies. The draft proposes that the government amend the Road Development Fund Act to enable the fund to function and operate as an autonomous financial institution.

There is a potential to mobilise over Rs.100 crore to the fund a year if tolls are introduced on the improved network of State highways.

Currently, 10 per cent of the motor vehicle registration fee amounting to Rs.30 crore goes into the fund every year. This should be increased to 20 per cent. The provisions of the Highway Protection Act could be used to mobilise additional revenues. As development of highways results in enhancement of land values, 10 per cent of revenue earned from land registrations and transfers besides fee for granting changes in land use should be allocated to the fund.

CPM politburo absorbs Pinarayi shock

NEW DELHI: The CPM politburo on Thursday threw its weight behind state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the ongoing SNC-Lavalin controversy and issued a statement saying the steps taken by the CBI are politically motivated.

The politburo took the decision after Chief Minister and politburo member V S Achuthanandan rushed to Delhi and met party general secretary Prakash Karat.

‘‘The steps taken by the CBI to prosecute Pinarayi Vijayan, secretary of the Kerala state committee of the CPM and former Minister for Electricity, in the SNC-Lavalin case is politically motivated. The CPM will take this issue to the people and expose the political gameplan behind this move,’’ said the politburo statement.

The statement said the then Oommen Chandy Government had raked up the issue even after the Vigilance inquiry had exonerated Pinarayi Vijayan of any

wrongdoing. Accusing the Union Government of political mudslinging, the statement said the use of Central agencies by the ruling party for political purpose should be a matter of public concern.

Achuthanandan, who reached Delhi by 7 pm, was not accompanied by his regular companions on trips — private secretary S Rajendran and political secretary K N Balagopal believed to be trusted confidants of Pinarayi Vijayan.

"I have come here to meet my party general secretary and discuss with him some important issues," Achuthanandan said after his brief interaction with Prakash Karat. Karat did not appear before the media who were waiting outside AKG Bhavan in huge numbers.

The CPM state secretariat which met in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday too decided to stand by Pinarayi Vijayan. A meeting of the available secretariat, which was boycotted by V S Achuthanandan, found that the move against Pinarayi Vijayan is politically motivated

Red vs red -News Archive-Related Strory

Challenges remain for VS Achuthanandan, whose figure became the pivot of the dispute that had threatened to tip the balance in the upcoming Kerala Legislative Assembly elections

Jeemon Jacob, Thiruvananthapuram

Finally veteran CPI (M) Polit Bureau (PB) member, and leader of the Kerala legislative assembly opposition, VS Achuthanandan was given a party ticket to contest from Malampuzha constituency in the coming state assembly election. General Secretary Prakash Karat was brief in his press conference. “Polit Bureau met on March 21 in New Delhi and reconsidered its earlier decision in view of the opinions in the party and some confusion created in some sections of the people and decided to field VS Achuthanandan in the electoral fray. He will contest election in Kerala.” Regarding the Chief Minister’s post, he said that party will decide after the elections. In the three-phase poll on April 22, April 29 and May 3, Kerala’s 140 legislative assembly constituencies will elect the next government.

It was first time in the history CPI (M) that the PB is reversing its earlier decision regarding the candidature of PB members and yielding to the pressures of the cadres. Earlier it decided not to field both VS Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan (the party’s State Secretary) in the coming elections that sparked a series of protests within the party. Achuthanandan loyalists were hurt by the decision. And party leadership could not effectively explain to its cadres why Achuthanandan was denied a party ticket.

The 83-year-old Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan (VS) is not of the intellectual stature of EMS Namboodiripad, nor does he have the charisma of AK Gopalan or EK Nayanar. He is a man from the working class. This high-school dropout rose in the party ranks with his organisational skills and hard work. His loyalty to the party was never questioned. A disciplined party member and neo-convert environmental activist, VS was the most effective opposition leader in Kerala. His uncompromising character and never-say-die attitude posed a challenge for the party. VS openly criticised the party’s stand Kozhikode sex scandal case in which the victim made allegations against former Minister of Industries and Indian Union Muslim League General Secretary PK Kunjalikutty. The scandal was exposed when EK Nayanar was Chief Minister. The party decided to save Kunjalikuty from the case and made a bargain with him. Later, he spearheaded campaigns against illegal land encroachments in Idukki district, which became uncomfortable for the party. He did not defend Pinarayi when the Accountant General’s report on the Lavlin deal was leaked out to the press. In fact Achuthanandan used the AG's report to clip Pinarayi's wings in the party.

Despite being State Secretary in two occasions and Polit Bureau member since 1985, VS missed the big job on two occasions despite being projected as the CPI (M) chief ministerial aspirant. VS Achuthanandan pressurised the state committee to go for early election in 1991. Nayanar government had eight more months to complete the term. The party contested 65 seats and won only 29 seats. Achuthandan contested the election from Mararikulam and won the seat. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and sympathy wave favoured Congress to come to power in Kerala. Later in 1996, Achuthanandan was defeated in Mararikkulam, a red bastion where the CPI (M) had never tasted defeat, mainly due to the infighting in CPI (M). In 2001 he won the seat in Malampuzha and became the leader of the opposition. It was unfortunate for him that when his party won the election, he lost and when he won election, his party lost.
Then onwards, the veteran leader was pinning his hopes on ruling the state as Chief Minister at least once. Being opposition leader and senior leader of the party, his claim was natural. So his loyalists were agitated when the PB took a decision not to field him this time. Protest marches, SMS campaigns and wall posters reflected the hurt sentiments of his party loyalists.

In fact Achuthanandan was pinning his hopes on the PB, the party’s supreme body to get a party ticket in the coming election despite stiff opposition from the Pinarayi camp. But Pinarayi trapped him by announcing that he was not interested in fighting elections. Instead he recommended Paloli Muhammad Kutty, a Central Committee member and former minister to lead the party in the coming election. Pinarayi loyalists alleged in the Central Committee meeting that he had alienated minorities from the party and that he was the main architect of factional feuds in the party. Despite PB’s request, Achuthanandan instigated his loyalists to contest election against party panel to the State Committee in 2005 Malappuram state meeting.

Even after fielding Achuthanandan in the electoral fray, the CPI (M) leadership struggles to explain why the party had earlier decided not to field him earlier. This situation was unprecedented. Earlier rifts in the party leadership never leaked out to the press, nor were they debated in public, and the decision of party meetings was not flashed in the media. Here, even before Prakash Karat announcing the decision, tabloid newspapers and news channels flashed the party’s decision.

The issue this time was not purely personal, though this is how the mainstream media projected it. Underlying the differences was the fact that Pinayari is seen to be market-oriented and business-friendly, which VS is not. The Polit Bureau met three times in March to resolve the infighting in Kerala leadership. But the central leadership could not do much and the exercise is on as General Secretary Prakash Karat shuttles from New Delhi to Thiruvananthapuram every week

State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan may not agree with the media reports that there is infighting in the party. According to him, media is behind floating fabricated stories about infighting in the party. He alleged that the media was playing an ugly game to tarnish the image of the party and create confusion among the minds of the people. “Our party is different. A section of the media is deliberately misrepresenting party affairs and misreporting the discussions taking place in the party committees,” he defended.

When the state secretariat met to discuss the candidates, the Pinarayi faction took a stand that the Polit Bureau would take appropriate decision on giving party tickets to PB members. When Pinarayi sent the back the ball to PB court, Achuthanandan factions believed that their leader will get a chance to fight election. But to their dismay, PB after day-long deliberations decided not to field PB members in the electoral fray and discus the matter in the State Committee and State Secretariat. The State Secretariat, dominated by the Pinarayi faction, agreed to the decision of PB and Achuthanandan loyalists put a fight in the State Committee for fielding VS from Malampuzha in Palakad district. They even nominated another candidate to contest election from Malampuzha.

By fielding Achuthanandan in the election, the party could pacify his loyalists, and present a more united front for its electoral rival camp the United Democratic Front (UDF). But it will not help the party to contain the infighting spreading its ranks. His first priority is to win from Malampuzha with a thumping margin and silence his political enemies.

V.S.Achuthanadan Velickakathu Shankaran Achuthanadan was born on October 20, 1923. A school drop out, he started his political career as a trade union activist.
He joined State Congress in 1939; became Member in the Communist Party in 1940; was imprisoned for five years and six months; went underground for four and half years in 1946, 1954, 1962, 1963, 1965 and 1975. He was elected as Secretary, CPI (M) State Committee from 1980 to 1992; Was Convener from 1996 to 2000; Leader of Opposition from 1992 to 1996, and again 2001-2006. He now serves as the Member of CPI (M) State Committee, State Secretariat, Central Committee and Polit Bureau.

Elected to Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1967, 1970, 1991 and 2001.

Sack Kerala CM, says Lalu as 'dog' remark haunts CPM

Posted: Dec 02, 2008

Seeking removal of Kerala Chief Minister V S Achutanadan for his remark on the family of slain NSG commando Sandip Unnikrishnan, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad said he would ask the CPM leadership to show the door to the communist veteran.

"It is a very serious issue. What the CM has said is absolutely wrong and a great insult to our martyr. I would demand from the CPM Politburo to remove him," Prasad told reporters in New Delhi.

Criticising the CM's remark, Prasad said, "We are also in politics and at times people do not behave properly with us while venting out their anger. But we are in public life and we have to understand the sentiment. The martyr's father was in the state of shock and this should have been understood by the chief minister."

Karat says sorry for 'dog' remark

Responding to Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan’s remarks on late NSG commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s family, CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat has clarified that the CM’s comments were regrettable. The CPM boss also added that he had spoken to Chief Minister Achuthanandan on the issue. TV channels reported.

Earlier Achuthanandan refused to apologise for his controversial remark against the family of the slain NSG commando after his unpleasant visit to the latter's house two days back.

On being asked by the media whether he would apologise for his remark, the Chief Minister said, "No, no" before leaving for Hyderabad.


Express News Service

The Kerala Government hurt the sentiments of the family of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan by not sending its representative for the funeral of the Malayali NSG commando who died battling terrorists in Mumbai. Its Chief Minister today added insult to that injury when he said, “Even a dog would not have glanced at that house had it not been Sandeep’s residence.”

Sandeep’s father Unnikrishnan had snubbed Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan when they came to his house on Sunday after he repeatedly declined to see them. Sandeep’s father Unnikrishnan was upset that none of the Kerala ministers called or visited to offer condolence while their counterparts in Karnataka did.

So the commando’s father asked them to go back. “I have lost all respect for you, VS,” he said. Later, he clarified that the politicians arrived after he repeatedly said no and admitted that he “responded badly.”

Achuthanandan, Pinarayi Vijayan suspended

NEW DELHI: The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday decided to suspend V.S. Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan from the membership of that powerful body. It concluded that open criticism against each other aired by the two veteran leaders from Kerala had "violated the norms of the party."

However, both of them will continue to "discharge all their other party responsibilities." This means Mr. Achuthanandan, 84, will continue to be the Chief Minister and Mr. Vijayan, 63, the State Secretary of the party.

TACKLING FACTIONALISM: CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat explains, at a press conference in New Delhi, the Polit Bureau's action against V. S. Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan for airing their differences publicly.

Significantly, the Polit Bureau also appreciated the work done by the Achuthanandan-led Left Democratic Front Government that completed one year in office on May 18.

Making the announcement at the conclusion of the two-day Polit Bureau (PB) meeting, party general secretary Prakash Karat said the decision to suspend the two PB members would be placed before the Central Committee, scheduled to meet in Delhi from June 24 to 26. It is understood that the Central Committee, which is the party's highest decision-making body, would determine the time period for which the two leaders would remain suspended from the PB.

In a formal resolution, the PB said it discussed the conduct of Mr. Achuthanandan and Mr. Vijayan in making certain remarks to the media. These remarks and open criticism by the two senior leaders violated the norms of the party and the clear directive of the Polit Bureau and the Central Committee that the State party leadership should not air their differences publicly.

The resolution said: "The Polit Bureau concluded that such behaviour is unacceptable from members of the Polit Bureau and action should be taken. The Polit Bureau decided to suspend V.S. Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan from the Polit Bureau and place the matter before the Central Committee for its consideration. The two comrades will continue to discharge all their other party responsibilities. All other matters pertaining to the Kerala unit of the party will be discussed by the Polit Bureau with the Kerala State Committee."

Bullet in bag, Pinarayi detained at Chennai -Related News Archive

Posted: Feb 17, 2007 Indian Express News

Kochi:: Kerala CPI(M) secretary Pinarayi Vijayan sent the cops at Chennai airport into a tizzy on Friday evening, with the X-ray machine at the security check spotting five live cartridges of a .38-revolver in his laptop case.

The CPI(M) leader was immediately led away for questioning, and he gave a written explanation that it belonged to his own licensed revolver. The cops, however, took their time verifying his claim with the police in his native Kannur, before he was allowed to go with no charges.

By then, the Jet Airways flight he was to catch to attend the CPI(M) Politburo meeting had left.

Party sources here said Pinarayi had taken an overnight train from Thiruvananthapuram for Chennai en route New Delhi. He had kept his revolver--which he normally carries with him--at home, but forgot to leave behind the bullets. He will take another flight to New Delhi on Saturday, they added.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

CPI-M MP praises Modi's development initiatives

Abdullakutty, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MP from Kerala, Friday said that although he doesn't agree with Narendra Modi's "communal agenda", he was impressed by the Gujarat chief minister's development initiatives.

Abdullakutty, who has been representing Kannur constituency in parliament for the last two terms, had stirred a controversy by stating on Dec 29 that Modi's development model for Gujarat should be emulated in Kerala for attracting more investments.

The CPI-M, known for its anti-Modi stand, had asked Abdullakutty to explain why action should not be taken against him for praising the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader.

In his five-page written reply to Kannur district leadership of the party, Abdullakutty said Modi's efforts towards economic development of Gujarat were praiseworthy.

"I cannot forgive Modi for his role in the 2002 Gujarat violence. I don't agree with his communal agenda. But I have given full marks to his development programmes (in the reply)," Abdullakutty told IANS on phone from Kerala's Kannur town.

In his statement to Malayalam television channels in Dubai in December, Abdullakutty also described Gujarat as the country's number-one investor-friendly state.

He had referred to Ratan Tata's decision to pull out the small car project from West Bengal and subsequent intervention by Modi to bring the project to Gujarat.

The statement created a storm in the CPI-M with T.K. Hamsa, another party MP from Kerala, criticising Abdullakutty for praising Modi. Some party leaders even call him mad.

Comments by Readers

Abdulla Kutty has probably opened an avenue for some serious dscussion in Kerala. Gujarat CM Modi has proved his capability beyond the wildest imagination of many critics in India. Investor friendly Gujarat will cmmand respect of all India and many states like Kerala and West Bengal can embtace a lot from Modi's ideas. Chanting te old slogans an weekly hartals wll not get Kerala anywere. Both LDF and UDF have miserably faled in the advancement of Kerala. Corruption is the main villain in any devekopmental efforts. Leaders of both fronts and younger generation in particular should start thinking seriously how could this state be freed from the clutches of hartals, alcoholism and drug abuse.

By Victor

Dear on Line Editor, Abdulla kutty or any other person viewing the development during Modis regime will be convinced that Guajart has done well must better that LDF in Kerala or CM in West Bengal two states this party is in power.The Complaint of CPM is that only large industrial houses are being encourageed by Modi.Why because it is the large industrial house who takes risk and invest finance but the beneficiaries are the asses and thisvital fact is ignored by our comrades.In Kerala people with proper under standing of the LDF administration will twice before entering because according to comrades there is only workers live inKerala and CPM government pass all legislation to comfort them.Analyse all measures taken till now it is highly partisan to favour the trasde unuions who willprovide votes or act like strom troopers always.This is not governance but a highly parchial outlook only.But with out skill, intelligence, organising capacity,risk taking capacity NO one can invest and this

CPI(M) MP suspended from party for praising Modi

Kannur(Ker) CPI-M's Lok Sabha member from Kannur, A P Abdullakutty, was today suspended from the party after he praised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's development model.
The action was taken by the party's Mayyil area committee in Kannur district, to which Abdullakutty is a member, after the two-term MP stood by his statement, party sources said.

The party had earlier sought explanation from Abdullakutty for the statement he made while on a trip to Dubai praising the saffron leader's efforts in the development of Gujarat.

Risking disciplinary action, Abdullakutty, in his reply to the party, yesterday said that he stood by his remarks. He, however, said he rejected outright the ‘anti-minority’ stance of Modi.

In a statement released shortly after sending his reply to the area committee yesterday, Abdullakutty said he made the comment with the good intention of triggering a debate on development in the state which often suffered from such modes of protests like hartals.

Reacting to the development, Abdullakutty said he did not expect action against him.

The CPI(M) leaders had earlier said the party did not agree with any policy of Modi, including those relating to development which were at variance with the party's perception.

A. P. Abdullakutty - Know More

A. P. Abdullakutty

Constituency Cannanore

Born 8 May 1967
Kannur, Kerala
Political party CPI(M)
Spouse Dr. V.N. Rosina
Children 1 son and 1 daughter
Residence Kannur
As of September 23, 2006

A. P. Abdullakutty (born 8 May 1967) is a member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India. He represents the Cannanore constituency of Kerala and is a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) political party.He has his collegiate education from S.N. College, Kannur and acquired his law degree from Law Academy, Law College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.He is an Advocate by profession A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a parliament. ... May 8 is the 128th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (129th in leap years). ... 1967 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... For the district with the name Kannur, see Kannur District. ... Kerala is a state on the Malabar Coast of southwestern India. The Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI(M), is a political party in India. For the district with the name Kannur, see Kannur District. September 23 is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years). For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... May 8 is the 128th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (129th in leap years). 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar . The 14th Lok Sabha was convened after the election of April-May 2004. ... Kerala is a state on the Malabar Coast of southwestern India. The Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI(M), is a political party in India. For the district with the name Kannur, see Kannur District. Thiruvananthapuram , formerly known as Trivandrum, is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala and the headquarters of the Thiruvananthapuram District. Kerala is a state on the Malabar Coast of southwestern India. ... An advocate is one who speaks on behalf of another, especially in a legal context.

CPM MP Hails `Investor-Friendly' Modi

A P Abdullakutty Narendra Modi Gujarat India News Kerala
Young CPM MP, A P Abdullakutty praised the Gujarat Chief Minister's industry friendliness, although the Marxists hate Narendra Modi.

Abdullakutty, who represents the Marxist stronghold of Kannur in Kerala, spoke so while speaking at an interaction organized by the Indian Media Forum in Dubai.

CPM MP A P Abdullakutty suspended for praising Narendra Modi

Saturday, January 17, 2009
CPM MP A P Abdullakutty suspended for praising Narendra Modi

Breaking News! A day after he praised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for adopting a perfect development model to woo investors to his state, CPM MP from Kannur, A P Abdullakutty, was suspended from the party for one year. According to the CPM sources, the decision to suspend Abdullakutty, was taken in order to maintain discipline in the party.

Abdullakutty, a two-time MP from Kannur, defended his statement, saying he did nothing wrong by praising a Chief Minister, who put his state on the path of high growth and development. Abdullakutty also said he intended to trigger a positive debate on development irrespective of party politics.

CPM MP A P Abdullakutty praises Modi, faces ire from his own party

Kannur, Jan 17: CPM MP from Kannur, A P Abdullakutty, whose words of praise for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi did not go down well with the party, said on Friday that his remarks were made with a "good intention of sparking debate on development".

In his reply to the explanation sought by CPM about his controversial comments giving "full marks" to Modi for his development model, Abullakutty said he stood by what he had said but made it clear he was "stiffly opposed to communal policies" of the Chief Minister.

The two-time Lok Sabha MP's comments at a meeting of expatriates in Dubai last month created a flutter in the party circles and the district committee sought an explanation was sought from him.

Abullakutty told the district party secretary that the media had focused only on what he had said about Modi's development model ignoring his firm rejection of the Gujarat chief minister's "communal policy".

Talking to a news channel later, Abdullakutty said he made the commonest with the good intention of sparking a debate on development at a time when the educated youth tend to vote for development.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's three consecutive victories proved this, he said. In sharp contrast, even educated tribals in Jharkhand might not have voted for Sibu Soren, he said.

Abdullakutty had earlier embarrassed the party by performing namaaz openly by turning up at a Idgah in Kannur with some family members and by calling for an introspection on mode of protests like hartals.

Modi said, "Advani is our leader- if NDA wins he will be PM. He will be a good PM."

New Delhi: Putting all candidature speculations to rest, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has declared that he supports Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) L K Advani as prime minister in waiting and Advani has returned the favour by paying glowing tributes to Modi in his latest blog entry.

Modi said, "Advani is our leader- if NDA wins he will be PM. He will be a good PM."

And Mr Advani repays that compliment. In his blog the veteran leader has said:

"I cannot think of any other leader in Indian politics in the past sixty years who was as viciously, consistently and persistently maligned, both nationally and internationally, as Modi had been since 2002. Sonia Gandhi even went to the extent of calling him 'maut ka saudagar' . I am happy that the people of Gujarat have given a fitting reply to- the practitioners of this kind of toxic politics." What accounts for Narendrabhai's success? The answer is simple: he exemplifies the BJP's commitment to Good Governance, Development and Security.

Advani doesn't stop there. In his blog, he positions himself as the patriarch of a family whose younger generation is doing extremely well. He writes:

"It often happens in a family that a younger member records an achievement which no one else has made earlier. This only makes the whole family proud. The family never feels diminished on that account"

There is a hint in the blog that among the second rung leaders, Modi has surged ahead.

The BJP leader wonders why the media has to look for differences in the BJP in Modi's Vibrant Gujarat campaign.

CPM suspends MP Abdullakutty for praising Modi

Published on Sat, Jan 17, 2009

CPM's Abdullakutty defends Modi's growth model

New Delhi: CPM has suspended Kannur MP A P Abdullakutty — who praised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's development model — from the party for one year for praising Modi.

Abdullakutty, a two-time MP from Kannur, had reportedly said during a visit to Dubai last month that Modi's efforts to bring development to his state was worthy of emulation even in the face of disagreement over his political policies.

Following which, the CPI(M) has sought an explanation from the party MP from Kannur A P Abdullakutty for reportedly praising the development model being pursued by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Risking disciplinary action from his party, Abdullakutty on Saturday stuck to his stand that the development model being pursued by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was worthy of emulation .

In a statement issued shortly after sending his reply to the explanation sought by the party district unit, the Kannur MP reiterated his view on the investor-friendly development atmosphere created by Modi in Gujarat and said he went on record on this with the good intention of triggering a debate in Kerala as a state that suffered from problems like hartals