The CPI(M) on Saturday denied any move to remove Kerala CM VS Achuthanandan (85), for his stand that the CBI be permitted to prosecute state party boss Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin case.
The CPM politburo has always backed Vijayan, saying the case against him is “politically motivated”. Accordingly, the state advocate general had advised the government not to allow the CBI to prosecute Vijayan.
Vijayan was power minister in 1997 when Canadian firm SNC Lavalin was awarded a contract to modernise three hydel power plants. The contract eventually led to a Rs 90-crore loss for the state. The case was handed over to the CBI by the Congress-led government in 2006.
Contradicting reports that the Kerala state secretariat had decided on Friday to recommend Achuthanandan's removal to the Delhi leadership, the party insisted there was “no discussion on Achuthanandan”.
Party chief Prakash Karat said, “It (the news) is baseless. The state party unit has denied it. Even P Vijayan himself has officially denied it.”
However, indicating the CM's isolation in the party seems complete, party insiders, who refused to be identified, said not a single secretariat member supported him when the call for his removal was made. His opponents are waiting for the elections to be over to make the final assault.