Lavlin Scam – Late CPM leader Balanandan warned Karat about Vijayan’s involvement

published on February 6, 2009




Lavalin controversy gets murkier

PNS | New Delhi

Kerala
Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan’s open rebellion against the CPI(M)
central leadership for protecting State party secretary Pinarayi
Vijayan in the Lavalin corruption case is getting murkier by the day.
It now appears that Politburo member, the late E Balanandan, had
written to CPI(M) General Prakash Karat more than three years ago,
detailing the involvement of party leaders in the Rs 375 crore power
house renovation contract involving SNC Lavalin.

According to
sources, the Achuthanandan faction has dug up the letter to embarrass
Prakash Karat on the issue. The CPI(M) general secretary has
consistently supported Vijayan on the matter as opposed to the Chief
Minister. The timing of the letter’s release is important since the
Politburo convenes on February 14. According to persons who leaked the
letter, Balanandan, who passed away on January 19, wished to make his
correspondence to Karat public only after his death. The veteran leader
was the all India president of CITU and president of Electricity
Employees Federation of India.

In the letters dated July 8 and
August 8 of 2005, Balanadan cautions Karat that the party had done a
grave mistake in dealing with Canadian power giant Lavalin. “Whatever
may be the discussion in the Kerala Assembly ……But however I must say
that, we have made serious mistakes.”

“Other than a wrong
political decision to go for Canadian contracts, even the normal
conventional systems and formalities of project implementation and
awarding of contracts have been flouted,” added Balanandan in his
letter.

The full text of the letter is reproduced in the latest
edition of a magazine managed by supporters of Achuthanandan. According
to them, the first letter was handed over to Karat by Balanandan
through an MP And the second was directly mailed to Karat.

Incidentally,
during the Lavalin contract days in 1997, the State Government had
formed a committee headed by Balananadan and the committee had
suggested giving the contract to the Central PSU BHEL. But the then
Power Minister Vijayan rejected this suggestion and went ahead with
awarding the controversial contract to Lavalin at a higher price, more
than triple. The contract was for the renovation of three old power
houses in the State.

The surfacing of the letter and its timing
would surely intensify the ongoing tussle between the Kerala CM and the
party’s central leadership.

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