Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan and leaders of various Opposition parties have come out against the government order for withdrawal of the palmolein case.

Mr. Achuthanandan told reporters at Alappuzha on Tuesday that the government had decided to withdraw the case to protect Chief Minister Oommen Chandy so that he could cling on to power.

In a statement here, the CPI(M) State secretariat said the government decision was a challenge to the judicial system of the land. The Karunakaran government had decided to import palmolein using a private agency as an intermediary on the strength of decisions taken with the involvement of Mr. Chandy, who was the then Finance Minister. The government has now decided to withdraw the case because it knew well that Mr. Chandy’s role in the import deal would come out some day, the statement added.

However, reacting the government order, K. Muraleedharan, MLA and the late K. Karunakaran’s son, said it was an appropriate decision. The palmolein case was a frame-up intended to harass his father, he said.

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