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Rediff.com  » News » Kerala Governor allows Pinarayi's prosecution in Lavalin scam

Kerala Governor allows Pinarayi's prosecution in Lavalin scam

June 07, 2009 19:21 IST

The Kerala state governor R S Gavai has allowed the prosecution proceedings against the Communist Party of India-Marxist Kerala state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, who was the power minister in the E K Nayanar cabinet during 1996.

The case related to the corruption to the tune of crores in the renovation of Panniyar ,Chenkulam and Pallivasal hydro-electric projects was sanctioned during the period when Vijayan was the party secretary .

The Governor has called up the CBI officials to Raj Bhavan and after detailed discussions has given the green signal to go ahead with the prosecution proceedings against the CPM leader.

The state advocate general C P Sudhakara Prasad had given an order which disallowed the prosecution of the CPI-M leader. The Congress led opposition has conducted a series of protest marches through out the state on the advocate general's decision and the Congress and the United Democratic Front had gone for a day to dusk hartal against the state cabinet decision to disallow the prosecution proceedings.

The CPI-M has convened an available politburo meeting in Delhi to discuss the further action plans in the case and the future of the party in the state where the reds have a strong base.

The CPI-M is embarrassed by the fact that it was for the first time in the history of the party that a leader of the stature of its state secretary who is also a member of the party's highest decision making body, the Politburo being dragged into a corruption scandal.With the CPI-M in the state now vertically divided with a large section of the party cadres and sympathizers supporting the octogenarian leader and state Chief Minister V.S.Achuthanandan, the entire party machinery
and the party fractions are totally in support of the party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

The CPI-M which is already licking its wounds over the crushing defeat it received in the communist bastions of Kannur and Vadakara has a double body blow on the Governor's decision to allow the CBI to proceed with the prosecution against the party's top most leader in state politics, Pinarayi Vijayan.

The multi crore SNC Lavalin case in which there were allegations of corruption to the tune of 198 crore rupees was the result of the contract signed between the Kerala state electricity board and the Canada based SNC Lavalin company on the renovation of Panniyar ,Chenkulam and Pallivasal hydro electric projects. The Comptrollor and Auditor general has also confirmed the allegation that corruption had taken place in the deal. Following the CAG report the vigilance had charge sheeted nine persons .However the opposition has taken to the streets with the protest that major players were removed from the list and only officials were made scape goats .

There were allegations that the Canadian company had given written assurances of supporting a cancer hospital project in Thalassery , the constituency of the then Chief Minister E K Nayanar .The company has given promise that it would collect huge funds from several donor agencies and support the cancer hospital project .The CBI is probing whether the proclaimed assistance had reached the state and whether some one had diverted these funds.

Arun Lakshman inThiruvananthapuram