“I could hold on only because I knew deep within that I had done no wrong”

Visibly relieved after the CBI Special Court here cleared him of all the charges in the SNC-Lavalin case, Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the days of witch-hunt are over.

Addressing the media within an hour of the CBI court’s verdict here on Tuesday, a smiling Mr. Vijayan said though his stand on specific issues may have been unacceptable to some individuals, they should not have tried to wreak vengeance on him by framing him and financing baseless litigations and producing bogus witnesses. “What I went through would have ruined any ordinary person. I could hold on only because I knew deep within that I had done no wrong,” Mr. Vijayan said.

Mr. Vijayan said he was isolated for attack by persons ranging from ‘‘a yellow journalist to great leaders.’’ From ex-Communists to anti-Communists and from the right wing to the extreme Left wing had joined in the attack. None of this would have happened if he had chosen to remain a lone individual. He could pull through all this only because of five reasons: his firm belief in not having done any wrong, the support he had received from lakhs of party workers and sympathisers, the realisation that a Communist’s path was no bed of flowers, his background as a public activist, and his conviction that truth would triumph in the end.

There were also attempts to delay the case indefinitely, place him and his party under a cloud of suspicion and tie him down with appeals and false evidences. “I have nothing against any of the persons who did all this,” Mr. Vijayan said and added that he had never received support from any anti-Communist and he had never thought that quarters other than the party were right. Several persons such as former judge of the Supreme Court V.R. Krishna Iyer, litterateur M.K. Sanoo, and legal luminaries G. Janardana Kurup and T.P. Kelu Nambiar had offered him support. There were also others such as K. Muraleedharan who had stated that the Lavalin case intended only to create a political smokescreen.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who had referred the case to CBI investigation, had justified his action saying that he was only responding to a public outcry. “Such decisions are not to be taken because of public outcry or someone’s whisper. The practice of misusing investigation agencies to settle political scores should end. If public persons are to pursue their cases during their entire lifetime, nobody will come forward to work in the public realm,’’ he said.

The CPI(M) had taken the position that it would deal with the case politically and legally only because it knew well that the case was politically motivated. At the end of it all, the CBI itself had to concede that he had not made any money. Investigations had proved to be hollow several of the charges against him, including that he had floated a firm called Kamala International in Singapore, that he had amassed huge wealth, sought ‘medical examination of former Power Secretary Varadachari’s head’ and that Technicalia was a paper organisation, and that crucial files relating to the case were destroyed. All this was part of a hidden political agenda.

Mr. Vijayan said he would not say that everybody had participated in it.

For instance, The Hindu, in its editorial on June 9, 2009, was extremely critical of the then Governor R.S. Gavai’s decision to override the advise of the Cabinet and grant sanction to the CBI to prosecute him.

The editorial had also exposed the foul play by the Congress, he pointed out.

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