Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Sunday that there was no question of the Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) agreeing to talks with the government on the current stand-off till Oommen Chandy stepped down as Chief Minister.
The CPI(M) State secretary told a news conference that the Opposition was not considering any talk with the government as it was preparing for its agitation. Nobody from the government had approached the Opposition seeking talks on the issue. Mr. Vijayan said the Opposition stir was not intended to subvert the United Democratic Front (UDF) government and asserted that the agitation would be absolutely peaceful.
“We will march to the Secretariat, sit where the police stop us and later lie down there,” he said.
The CPI(M) leader said the Opposition wanted Mr. Chandy to quit because he had abetted the scam. Mr. Vijayan countered Mr. Chandy’s contention that there was no need for him to resign as the solar scam had not resulted in any loss for the State exchequer pointing out that the late K. Karunakaran’s resignation in connection with the ‘Rajan case’ and ISRO espionage case also had nothing to do with losses to the exchequer. Resignations by Mr. Chandy’s party colleagues K.K. Ramachandran Mastser and K.P. Viswanathan also were for other reasons, he pointed out.
Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan on Sunday said the crux of the solar scam — the role of the Chief Minister’s office in a conspiracy to defraud investors in Kerala of thousands of crore of rupees — was not in the agenda of the ‘fake’ police investigation now going on.
In a statement, he said it was strange that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy could find no justification for the Left Democratic Front (LDF) agitation to press for his resignation. Mr. Achuthanandan said Mr. Chandy could not defend himself by stating that the scam had not caused any loss to the exchequer. “Does he mean to say, swindling is okay if there is no loss to the State exchequer? How can he say it is all right for a Chief Minister to give leadership to a massive swindling and the Opposition had no right to question his conduct,” he asked.
He said this was not the first time there had been a blockade of the government Secretariat, like the one being launched by the LDF on Monday. Former Chief Ministers K. Karunakaran and A.K. Antony had faced such agitations.
“However, since they did not fear the people of the State to the extent Mr. Chandy fears the people now, Mr. Antony and Mr. Karunakaran had not thought it necessary to deploy Central forces to face those agitations,” he said.
Communist Party of India (CPI) State secretary Pannian Ravindran on Sunday said the questions Mr. Chandy had posed to the media earlier in the day displayed the “efforts of a wrongdoer to escape from being caught.”
The Chief Minister, while questioning the logic of the LDF agitation, had not cared to explain what it was that he and the solar scam accused Biju Radhakrishnan had discussed for one hour at the Ernakulam Guest House.