Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Achuthanandan skips question on attending party rally

24 Feb 2009, PTI

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala chief minister V S Achuthandandan declined to give a direct answer to the crucial question of his participation in CPI-M's mega rally here tomorrow to mark the finale of party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan's 'Nava Kerala March'.

Vijayan is sought by CBI as an accused in the SNC-Lavalin case, concerning alleged corruption in award of contract to the Canadian company for renovation of three hydro electric projects when he was power minister in 1998.

"I have made my position clear on this question before," was Achuthandandan's response when reporters asked him if he would be sharing the party podium with Vijayan at Sanghumugham beach.

Achuthanandan also said there was no change in his stand on the case. "I have made this repeatedly clear. Why do you keep asking me this again and again?," he asked.

CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat, who is the main speaker at the rally, had said "wait and see" when the question was put to him after the party politburo meeting in Delhi on February 14 which discussed the Lavalin case.

Achuthanandan has differed sharply from the CPI-M's official line and declined to come to the defence of his estranged colleague, who faces the prospect of being prosecuted in the case.

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