Peeved Pinarayi Vijayan locks horns with media

via VR Jayaraj | Malappuram - Daily Pioneer published on February 9, 2009



CPI(M)’s
Kerala unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday locked horns with the
media, accusing it of publishing absurd reports about his party and
Nava Kerala Yatra.

“You should not try to humiliate (us)
through your media. The media’s job is not that,” Pinarayi shouted at
newsmen at the Press conference in Tirur, Malappuram on Monday morning,
convened by him as part of his 23-day pre-poll Yatra. The Press meet at
one point witnessed war of words between the CPI(M) leader and the
journalists who wanted to know why he was being intolerant to questions.

Almost
at all the daily morning Press conferences he had been holding from the
start of his Yatra on February 2, Pinarayi had been losing his
composure whenever certain questions were being raised. The CPI(M)
State secretary is facing legal proceedings in the Kerala High Court
over the multi-crore SNC Lavalin corruption case, in which the CBI is
to charge him with criminal conspiracy.

The outburst of anger
from Pinarayi took place on Monday when he was asked about the black
flags that had appeared in Mankada, a constituency held by Left
Independent Manjalamkuzhy Ali, in Malappuram district.

Asked
whether Ali had any role in the black flags at Mankada as rumours
suggested, Vijayan exploded saying, “Don’t think journalism is the
license to ridicule others.” The next question was on Ali’s absence at
a reception accorded to the Yatra at Aikarappady on Sunday, and Vijayan
answered in visible anger that there were several people who were not
participating in the Yatra.

At this point, the mediamen also
lost their composure and they wanted to know why he was being
intolerant to questions. But Pinarayi was not ready to calm down or to
be diplomatic and he said, “It is the nature of your questions that is
making me intolerant. When good questions are asked, I will reply in
that manner. To other questions I will react intolerantly,” he said.

Pinarayi
had the other day said that a media syndicate, which he alleged had
been operating against the CPI(M) sometime back, had now become active
again. He had brought up the theory of media syndicate when the faction
fight between himand Chief Minister and Polit Bureau member VS
Achuthanandan, his enemy in the party, was at its peak sometime back.

Pinarayi
claimed that his party had never held that CBI should not handle cases.
He said there were areas where CBI alone could hold investigations, and
there was a need for the CBI to regain its credibility. The CPI(M) has
vowed to meet the CBI charge against Pinarayi in the SNC Lavalin case
politically because the CBI was allegedly doing this on instructions
from Congress.

Meanwhile, The Kerala High Court on Monday posted
to Wednesday the hearing on the petition seeking a directive that there
was no need of permission from the Governor or Government to prosecute
Pinarayi, former power minister, and two former civil servants, accused
in the SNC Lavalin corruption case.

The hearing was deferred
in the context of a sub-petition from the petitioner seeking time-bound
decision on the permission if the court found permission was necessary
for the prosecution. A division bench of the court comprising Acting
Chief Justice JB Koshy and Justice P Bhavadas said this would be
considered on Wednesday.

The CBI had on January 16 requested the State Governor and Government for
permission
to prosecute the former minister and former civil servants. The
Governor on his part had sought the opinion of the Government on this.
A Cabinet meeting last Wednesday had left the matter for legal advice
from the Advocate General, who had sought three week’s time. The CBI
was to list Pinarayi as ninth accused in the case in which former
principal power secretary K Mohanachandran as the first accused and
former joint power secretary A Francis as tenth accused.

The
court had last week issued notices to the three seeking to know their
reaction on the matter. In response, Pinarayi engaged senior lawyer MK
Damodaran as his counsel in the case. Damodaran had appeared in the
court on Monday.

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