Special Correspondent

Congress leaders Oommen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala welcome Governor’s decision

Protest marches by activists of DYFI, SFI

“Legal aspects of the case will be studied”

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Governor R.S. Gavai’s decision to grant permission to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to initiate prosecution proceedings against CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has drawn both flak and praise in the State.

While the CPI(M) termed it politically motivated and taken under pressure from the UDF and anti-CPI(M) forces, the Congress praised the Governor for having discharged his duties under the Constitution.

The decision triggered protest marches by activists of the pro-CPI(M) Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and Students Federation of India (SFI) in different parts of the State on Sunday. In the State capital, DYFI and SFI activists staged separate marches to the Raj Bhavan and burnt the Governor’s effigy.

Although there were sporadic hartal calls from different districts, the Central and State leadership of the party dissuaded the party units from the move.

“Black day”

The party State secretariat later called upon activists to observe Monday as ‘black day.’

In Kochi, Youth Congress activists staged a march to the residence of the Advocate General who had advised the Cabinet against giving permission to prosecute the CPI(M) State secretary.

Kerala Home Minister and Polit Bureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters at Thalassery in Kannur that the legal aspects of the case would be studied before proceeding further.

Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Oommen Chandy and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, however, welcomed the Governor’s decision. While Mr. Chandy lauded the Governor for having done his duty by the Constitution, Mr. Chennithala said in a statement that the decision was a setback to the ‘heinous attempt’ that had been made from the very beginning to cover up the worst corruption case in Kerala’s history. With the Governor giving permission for prosecuting Mr. Vijayan, the allegation of the CPI(M) that the CBI case was politically motivated had collapsed, he claimed. He said the Governor’s decision was a blow to the government’s bid to ‘cover up’ the case and ‘scuttle’ it.

Seeks apology

Mr. Chennithala demanded an apology from the government and the Advocate General for having attempted to ‘sabotage’ the case. He alleged that the Cabinet had taken the decision against giving permission to prosecute Mr. Vijayan on account of pressure from ‘extra-constitutional forces.’ The government should at least now act with wisdom, he said.

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