The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leadership will not ask its Kerala secretary Pinarayi Vijayan to step down because it views the case against him as the result of a political grudge.
The Politburo on Monday steeled its resolve to back Vijayan but its stand has, however, landed the party in a moral tight spot. For the first time, a CPM Politburo member will be put on trial for alleged corruption in the SNC Lavalin power scam. This has prompted many to ask if Vijayan should step down until his name is cleared.
Party general secretary Pakash Karat too had gone on record earlier saying Vijayan did not hold any public office and since the collective view of the party was that this case was politically motivated, there was no need for him to step down.
Asked if he would continue or step down as a moral gesture, Vijayan himself put the ball in party general secretary Karat’s court. “Our party general secretary Prakash Karat should be asked this,” he told HT.
The party’s Politburo on Monday termed Kerala Governor RS Gavai’s permission to the CBI to prosecute Vijayan as “unfortunate” and pledged to fight the case “politically and legally”.
As the CBI arraigns him and makes him stand trial, his archrival, Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, is likely to gun for Vijayan’s scalp in the upcoming central committee and Politburo meeting starting June 19.
Threat call traced
The Kerala Police have traced a threat call made to Governor RS Gavai to the Gulf. A caller speaking in Malayalam phoned Raj Bhawan on Sunday night and said the governor would be killed in a few days.