Sunday, October 23, 2011

Achuthanandan meeting ’dubious’ character raises eyebrows

Thiruvananthapuram: Former Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan's meeting in the wee hours of Sunday with a man being probed by three government agencies has begun to raise eyebrows.

The veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist leader, currently leader of opposition in the state assembly, is reported to have met a man called Nandakumar at a government guest house in Aluva, about 250 kms from the capital.

Youth Congress state president P.C. Vishnunadh told reporters here that NandaKumar's credentials was first questioned by eminent advocate Ram Kumar, who alleged that he managed Achuthanandan's cases and was known to influence judges.

"Nandakumar is currently being probed by the vigilance department, police and the income tax department," he said. "He is a known middleman for deals of multinational companies and has met Achuthanandan and was close to him when he was the chief minister."

The first to react was Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty, whose running feud with the CPI-M veteran is quite well-known. He said at Malappuram that the early morning meeting was really surprising.

"All who heard about this rendezvous are surprised because the meeting took place as early as 6 a.m.," he said. "People wish to know what transpired between the two because Nandakumar's credentials have already come under a cloud."

Vishnunadh endorsed the view. "It is quite surprising that Achuthanandan, who claims to hold the high moral ground, moves with such dubious persons."

Meanwhile, Nandakumar told the media that his meeting with Achuthanandan was purely personal. "All the allegations that are being aired are baseless," he said.

He agreed that various agencies are probing him and he was cooperating with them in all respects. "I have nothing to hide and I am not the person who is handling the various cases of Achuthanandan," he said.

"I agree that when Achuthanandan was the chief minister I met him because I was representing a company with business interests in the state," Nandkumar said. "What is wrong in that?"

He also denied of links with Achuthanandan's son, V.A. Arunkumar, currently being probed by the vigilance department on numerous counts, including the manner in which he got the post of a director in a state-run institution when his father was the chief minister.

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