Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Sunday criticised the public reception accorded recently to the former Electricity Minister and Kerala Congress (B) leader, R. Balakrishna Pillai, who was sentenced to one-year imprisonment by the Supreme Court in the Idamalayar graft case.
Addressing a press conference after inaugurating the Kerala House complex here, he said that organising a reception for a person convicted by the Supreme Court amounted to a challenge to democracy and the judicial system.
Ridiculing the charges of political vendetta levelled against him at the meeting, Mr. Achuthanandan said it was the Assembly Committee led by Muslim League leader Seethi Haji that first recommended a probe into the allegations of corruption in the Idamalayar dam project. The probe was ordered by the then Chief Minister, K. Karunakaran. “Are they my people?” he countered.
He also made light of the charges made by Congress leaders Vayalar Ravi and Oommen Chandy that he had disparaged Kerala culture by complaining about the Centre's neglectful attitude while sharing the dais with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the inauguration of the new terminal of the Thiruvananthapuram international airport. He maintained that he was only making out the case that Kerala was suffering from the Centre's neglect. “Are they suggesting that I should only have whispered into the ears of the Prime Minister?”