Corruption charges against Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala state secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, are politically motivated, the CPI-M politburo said here, rejecting Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan's demand for action against him.
The politburo had met here to discuss the case of Vijayan, whom the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has named in a charge sheet in a corruption case.
Achutanandan and Vijayan, who are arch-rivals within the state organisation, are also politburo members.
"It is unfortunate that the CBI is not politically immune and works under the influence of the ruling party," CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat told reporters after the meeting, hinting at a role of the Congress.
"The CPI-M has consistently held that any person holding public office should step down if they face prosecution by the CBI. This does not apply to Vijayan as he is not a minister or holding any public office. The party will fight the case politically and legally if it comes up in court," he said.
Vijayan is named in the charge sheet on the irregularities in the contract awarded to Canadian firm SNC Lavalin for renovation of three hydroelectric projects in Kerala in 1997. Vijayan was power minister then.
The decision to go ahead with the SNC Lavalin contract was taken by the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government headed by EK Nayanar after it had been initiated by the earlier Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government, Karat said.
The proposal was discussed by the party's state secretariat and Vijayan as power minister only implemented the decision, he added.