Saturday, February 14, 2009

Polit Bureau backs Vijayan in Lavalin case

New Delhi: Reiterating its position that the CBI case against its Kerala unit Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the Lavalin case is ''politically motivated", the CPM Polit Bureau today said the differences between Mr Vijayan and Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on this issue had been ironed out and that the Party unit in the state would go ahead unitedly.

"There is no controversy. Our Party is united in Kerala," CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat told mediapersons in response to a query on the disquiet in the Kerala unit of the party following refusal of Mr Achuthanandan to toe the party line that the Lavalin case against Mr Vijayan was politically motivated.

"It is unfortunate that the central investigating agency, the CBI, is not immune from political pressure and influence of the ruling party at the Centre." Asked if Mr Achuthanandan , who refused to attend the inauguration of Mr Vijayan's "Nava Kerala Yatra" ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, would continue with the same posture towards the yatra, he said , "Wait and see." Mr Achuthanandan refused to attend the yatra saying that he swore by the Constitution and therefore he would not be able to challenge the court, which had directed the CBI to register the case against Mr Vijayan.

To another query whether Mr Achuthanandan has now accepted the Polit Bureau stand on the Lavalin case, Mr Karat said "we have taken a collective decision after discussing the issue in all respects." In this cotext, he said the party still subscribed to its stand that the CBI case against Mr Vijayan in the S N C Lavalin case was politically motivated.

Mr Karat said "Mr Achuthanandan is a member of the Polit Bureau.

The stand of the PB is applicable to all. However, Mr Achuthanandan has taken a stand in his capacity as the Chief Minister." Mr Karat alleged that the ruling Congress party had been in the habit of misuing the CBI against the CPM even during the Panchayat and assembly elections and now on the eve of the Lok Sabah elections.

"We will go to the people of Kerala and counter the campaign being launched by the CBI in a piecemeal manner and with a coloured vision.

Even the Supreme Court has recently questioned the CBI on its role as an instrument of certain political interests." Mr Karat said the CPM has consistently held that any person holding public office should step down if they face prosecution by the CBI. "This does not apply to Mr Vijayan as he is not a minister or holding any public office." He said the Party would fight the case politically and legally if it comes up in court.

Mr Karat said the decision to go ahead with the Lavalin contract for renovation of three hydro-electric projects was taken up by the LDF government headed by Mr E K Nayanar after it was intiated by the earlier Congress-led UDF government.

The proposal was discussed by the state secretariat of the party and Mr Vijayan, as a minister for Electricity, implemented the decision.

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