The Congress' Kerala unit president Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday expressed surprise at the way the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo was reacting to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) naming state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan as an accused in a multi-million rupee scam.
Speaking to reporters in Thiruvananthpuram, Chennithala said it was startling the way in which the CPI-M politburo was looking into this "clean case of corruption."
"The CPI-M has to go in for a judicial scrutiny and not take law into their hands. If their leader Vijayan is clean, then why are they not dealing it in that manner. Something is wrong somewhere and (party general secretary) Prakash Karat, who always speaks against corruption, is now nowhere to be seen. He is scared to even call a press conference," Chennithala said.
The CBI, in its detailed report last week to both the Kerala High Court and the CBI court in Kochi, accused Vijayan and 10 others of having been involved in wrongly awarding to Canadian company SNC Lavalin the contracts to renovate two hydro-power projects 12 years ago.
Vijayan was state electricity minister in 1997 when the Canadian firm was given the contract, in which the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had found irregularities.
"The politburo should now ask the state government to ask the Kerala Governor to give sanction to prosecute Vijayan," said Chennithala.
The Congress leader's statement came some hours after a division bench of acting Chief Justice J.B. Koshy and Justice V. Giri sought Advocate General C.P. Sudhakara Prasad's views on a petition filed by an NGO for prosecuting Vijayan.
Kochi-based NGO People's Council for Civil Rights last week filed a petition to prosecute Vijayan, and maintained that the prosecution did not require to take sanction from the governor.