Lavelin case : Challenge to Pinarayi, respite to VS

via Pioneer published on January 16, 2007

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The High Court verdict on CBI inquiry into the controversial SNC Lavelin case has given Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan the much-needed edge in the CPI(M) party affairs and in the total power structure of the Government.

The court verdict for the inquiry is a direct rebuff for the Government and the CPI(M) State secretary in particular.

Achuthanandan has reacted immediately to the verdict and said that the Government lost the case while Pinarayi Vijayan defended himself and told the media that the CPI(M) or the LDF is not afraid of any inquiry.

Pinarayi further said that the previous UDF Ministry has ordered for a CBI inquiry in the last day in office mainly out of political reasons.

The SNC Lavelin is a major issue which has, according to CPI(M) observers resulted in the Chief Minister losing the home and the vigilance portfolio.

Pinarayi as State secretary of the party was adamant that the home or vigilance portfolio must not be given to the Chief Minister and CPI(M) observers have mentioned that this decision was taken out of fear that Achuthanandan may move against him with vengeance.

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan the trusted lieutenant of Pinarayi was given charge of both the portfolios and the Government has lost its credibility in this decision and there were wide criticisms as the Minister was the non official member of the electricity board when the fixed price contract with SNC Lavelin was signed by the then Nayanar Government.

The CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat has acted in a diplomatic manner when he responded that the Kerala State party leaders would explain and that he would not comment. Observers consider this as a shrewd political move on his part and that he is inching more closer to Achuthanandan in the party affairs. This court verdict has given one more stick for the Chief Minister to beat his detractors within the party and to once more prove his detractors that he is gaining ground in the party.

Congress leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala has already welcomed the CBI inquiry and stressed that the decision of the then UDF Government to order a CBI probe is justified. Ramesh Chennithala has gone one step ahead and demanded a more concrete response from Prakash Karat taking the ball to the court of the CPI(M) national leadership.

CMP leader MV Raghavan has called for the resignation of Pinarayi Vijayan from the post of party secretary and added that the position he holds has been earlier held by towering leaders of the party including AK Gopalan , P Krishna Pillai and EMS Namboodiripad. He said that never was these leaders ever mentioned as corrupt even by political opponents and that Pinarayi Vijayan is a disgrace to the CPI(M), which is considered as party for the poor and toiling masses.

UDF leaders PK Kunhalikutty and KM Mani also welcomed the court verdict and said that a CBI inquiry would pave the way to clear all the doubts raised in this controversial deal.

BJP State president PK Krishnadas has called for the removal of Pinarayi Vijayan as the State secretary of the CPI(M) as the High Court order for a CBI inquiry is a direct mention on the part played by the CPI(M) leader in this issue.

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