Calls for avoiding interference in ice-cream parlour case probe

Defence Minister A.K. Antony, on Tuesday, said Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan should clarify whether had written to Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat in 2005 accusing party State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan of having flouted rules in the SNC-Lavalin deal.

Mr. Antony told presspersons here that if Mr. Achuthanandan had written the letter, he should not have opted to be a candidate under a unit led by the tainted State secretary.

“Let Mr. Achuthanandan clarify first. I will then comment more on the issue,” he said.

On reports that the CPI(M) had pre-poll talks with the Jamaat-e-Islami, Mr. Antony said, “The LDF's Jaamat-e-Islami connection does not come as a surprise. The LDF will link up with any outfit for electoral gains. In the previous elections, the LDF had sought the support of the PDP. History repeats itself.”

On Mr. Achuthanandan's reported statement that Mr. Antony was posing as a man of principles, he said, “The hat of a poseur suits him more than it does me.”

In reply to a question related to the Chief Minister reportedly exerting pressure to speed up investigation into a case relating to the disclosures made by businessman K.A. Rauf against Indian Union Muslim League State general secretary P.K. Kunhalikutty in the ice-cream parlour sex scandal, Mr. Antony said, “No one should interfere with the law. The law should take its own course. Political interference, if any, into the investigation should be avoided. The people of the State can understand the motives behind such political interference in the run-up to elections.”