Union Minister Vayalar Ravi and Principal Secretary PM to rescue Pinarayi Vijayan?

published on November 12, 2010

SNC Lavalin: After CPM, it’s time for Cong to worry
VR Jayaraj | Kochi

Witnesses in the sensational SNC Lavalin case, pertaining to the biggest scam Kerala has ever seen, have taken their allegations right to the doorsteps of the Prime Minister’s office and the Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, pushing the Congress in the State into the defensive.

While Deepak Kumar, a key witness, alleged the other day that a Union Minister of the Congress from Kerala and a top Central official had tried to derail the case by getting a CBI official transferred, TP Nandakumar, another witness and complainant, identified them as Vayalar Ravi and TKA Nair, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.

Ever since the CBI filed the chargesheet in the Rs 374.5-crore SNC Lavalin corruption case on June 11, 2009 listing State CPI(M) secretary Pinarayi Vijayan as the seventh of the nine accused, the Congress has been using it as a political weapon against the Marxists.

The CBI had on Wednesday transferred its DySP Ashok Kumar, who was examining the financial deals behind the SNC Lavalin-KSEB agreement, from the charge and appointed another DySP in his place. According to legal experts, the transfer would delay – if not derail – the SNC Lavalin case.

Deepak Kumar, a Chennai-based business consultant who had earlier deposed to the CBI that he was witness to Pinarayi Vijayan accepting bribe in the deal, said that the influence of a Union Minister from the State Congress had been used for the transfer. He added that a top official in Delhi was also involved in it.

According to Deepak Kumar, the CBI official was transferred as part of a bid to sabotage the case and investigation by Dileep Rahulan, the Canadian company’s former business director who mediated the deal. Deepak alleged that Rahulan had used the Minister’s influence in this matter, adding that he would give the details to Special CBI Court in Kochi.

TP Nandakumar, on whose petition the Kerala High Court had ordered a CBI probe into scam much to the dislike of the CPI(M), said in Kochi on Friday that Vayalar Ravi and TKA Nair could have tried to derail the probe. He also said that four Kerala Ministers and two Union Ministers from the State had invested black money in Rahulan’s companies.

State BJP president V Muraleedharan alleged that the CPI(M) and the Congress were equally to blame for the scandal. He said the CBI should create an atmosphere conducive for Deepak’s deposition to the court on all these matters in the light of the new revelations.

But State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala claimed that no Central Minister of the Congress had any role in the issue. Oommen Chandy, senior Congress functionary and Opposition leader in the State Assembly, commented that Deepak’s allegations did not call for a response.

Curiously, the CPI(M) has not made any comment on the allegations raised by Deepak and Nandakumar against the Congress despite the fact that Pinarayi Vijayan was being targeted consistently by the Congress in the scandal. a

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