Former Senior Marxist leader and minister KR Gowri Amma has said Communist Party of India-Marxist bosses in the state had offered her the deputy chief minister's post and money to topple the AK Antony government.
"They offered me a top post and another cabinet berth to my party and Rs 2 crore for my party, the Janathipathipathya Samrakshana Samithy," the veteran leader, who had a long stint in the government right from the first EMS Namboodiripad ministry, told a regional television channel on Monday.
Gowri said the party leaders had approached her when the tussle between the Antony and Karunakaran factions in Congress was at its peak in 2003.
"Both, state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan contacted me to topple the Antony government," Gowri claimed.
The plan, she said, was to support dissident Congress leader K Karunakaran to become chief minister with the support of a Congress faction and minor UDF partners.
"They also offered Rs 5 lakh each to my legislators," she added. Gowri floated her outfit after being expelled from the CPI-M in 1994.
She said the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) faction leader Prof A V Thamarakshan, who was then with the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), contacted her with the proposal. Later, Achuthanandan and M A Baby, now Education Minister, met her with the same proposal. Achuthanandan met her in Kollam reiterating their offer later, she claimed.
Denying the allegation that he had offered money, Prof Thamarakshan said the offer was only to make Gowri, 87, the deputy chief minister if she switched sides and it was made at the instance of CPM leaders.
"I talked to her on behalf of Vijayan and Achuthanandan. Money was not in the package," he said. He said he arranged the meeting between Gowri and Achuthanandan. He said Achuthanandan's reaction after the meeting was: "Operation success".
The CPM has dismissed the Gowri's allegations. Party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said they do "not deserve even a reply." However, he said he would talk on the subject later.
In a statement here, Achuthanandan said "after being expelled from the CPI(M) and getting defeated in the last Assembly elections, Gowri has come to the level of leveling absurd allegations."
"How could a person like Gowri, who had for long been in the CPI(M) state committee, even think of the party offering bribe for securing power?" he said.