CBI's move to seek government's consent to prosecute the accused in politically sensitive SNC Lavalin corruption case is expected to make the Lok Sabha poll campaign difficult for ruling LDF as the contract with the Canadian firm was finalised in mid-1990s when the present CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan was the Power Minister.
Though the investigating agency, which filed the progress report in the case in the Kerala High Court yesterday, has not named the then power minister, it was Vijayan, who was the minister in-charge of the portfolio then.
This has been further reinforced by the assertion of state Home Minister and CPI-M Polit Bureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan that the party would counter the "heinous political move" to use CBI to "frame" Vijayan in the case to settle political scores with the Left for withdrawing support to the Manmohan Singh Government.
The case pertained to huge loss suffered by the state and corruption allegedly involved in awarding the contract to SNC Lavalin for renovation of three hydro electric projects -- Pallivasal, Changulam and Panniar.
The MoU with the Canadian firm for a consultancy contract was signed when the Congress-led UDF was in power but this was changed into equipment supply and erection contract by the LDF government in 1996.