Special Correspondent

CPI(M) and CPI to contest one Rajya Sabha seat each

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The LDF has dismissed as `politically motivated' the charges of corruption against Public Works Minister P. J. Joseph in the implementation of the Maithri Housing Scheme during its previous tenure in the Government. Mr. Joseph was the Minister in charge of Housing then.

At a press conference here on Wednesday, LDF convener Vaikom Viswan said the UDF could have very well come out with the charges any time during the last five years it had been in control of the Government.

The UDF was indulging in a `futile attempt' to tarnish the image of the new Government by coming out with `such wild charges' so soon after losing the elections, Mr. Viswam said.

He said the LDF State committee, at its meeting on Wednesday, discussed the issue in detail. The Maithri Housing Scheme was implemented with the active involvement of the elected representatives of the people at the level of local bodies. And the final year of the five-year period of its implementation coincided with the first year of the UDF's term in the Government.

Responding to a question, he said the State Assembly's Public Accounts Committee, which had studied the subject, had not come out with any charges against Mr. Joseph, as was being made out by his critics.

Answering another question, he said it was true that Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan had got the subject studied by his office. "From the details gathered by the LDF, we found that the allegations are baseless," Mr. Viswan said.

The LDF meeting decided to field a candidate each from the CPI(M) and the CPI to contest two of the three Rajya Sabha seats from the State, for which elections are to take place on June 26.

The CPI(M) subsequently announced that it would field its Thrissur district secretary P. R. Rajan in the seat allotted to it. The CPI will announce its candidate after the party's State executive meet on Thursday, a party spokesman said.

More In: Today's Paper