Monday, February 16, 2009

Karat says truce but VS & Pinarayi play deaf

16 Feb 2009, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Barely a day after CPM general secretary Prakash Karat claimed that the politburo has settled factionalism in its Kerala unit, chief
minister VS Achuthanandan and state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan were back at carping at each other.

While the CM said that he would continue his fight against corruption, hinting that he would not pipe down his attack on the SNC Lavalin scandal-tainted Vijayan, the state secretary hit back saying Mr Achuthanandan will have to work within the confines of the politburo decision.

The CPM politburo on Saturday had reiterated its stand that the case against Mr Vijayan was political motivated. The apex decision making body had rejected the chief minister’s call for a uniform yardstick in corruption cases against politicians. “If he (Vijayan) was a MLA, MP or minister we would have asked him to step down,” Mr Karat had said on Saturday after the meeting of the politburo. This was a major setback for the chief minister, who had lobbied hard for action against Mr Vijayan. While leaving Delhi, the chief minister told reporters that he would continue his battle against corruption.

The chief minister, who took care not to offend the central leadership, refrained from mentioning the Lavalin scam and cited only cases of corruption when the state was under the Congress-led UDF rule. His bete noire, who had the politburo rallying around him, retaliated saying, “VS is not a one man army fighting against corruption. He is a product of the party. The war against corruption was actually thought of and decided by the party. Mr Achuthanandan was only implementing the party’s directions.”

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