Monday, February 9, 2009

Vijayan row: PB member called deal wrong 3 years ago

7 Feb 2009,

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Adding to the CPM's embarrassment, a letter written by CPM politburo member E Balanandan three years before his death to party general secretary Prakash Karat criticising the SNC-Lavalin deal came to light on Friday.

In the letter he wrote in 2005, Balanandan said the deal, which is being investigated by the CBI, was a "wrong decision''. The CBI has sought the Kerala governor's sanction for prosecuting CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, who was electricity minister when the deal was finalised. The CPM has termed the CBI's move as "politically motivated'' but Kerala chief minister V S Achuthanandan has disagreed with the party line.

Balanandan also said the deal first struck by the former Congress-led United Democratic Front government was only a consultancy contract and that it was the Left government that came in next which converted it into a supply contract.

Balanandan then termed the deal as a " mistake'' and had warned that it would wreck the party and lead to internal dissensions. The leader who passed away recently, was critical of the deal and recommended that the public sector undertaking BHEL was more capable of executing the project, which was for modernising hydel power plants in the state.

Balanandan headed the committee appointed by the E K Nayanar government to suggest measures to overcome the power shortage which had hit the state in the mid-90s.

The letter was published in the latest issue of Malayalam weekly `Janasakthi' lauched by a group of former CPM activists after their expulsion from the party.

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