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Face probe legally: Chandy

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Special Correspondent

Says agitation against Governor and violence have created a serious situation

Says protests are affront to constitutional body

Criticises Kodiyeri’s statement

Thiruvananthapuram: Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy has criticised the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for indulging in violence rather than facing the CBI probe in the SNC-Lavalin case through legal steps.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Mr. Chandy said the CPI(M)’s demonstrations against the Governor for his decision to give sanction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for the prosecution of its State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan were an affront to the constitutional body and undermined the mutual trust and confidence that various constitutional arms should function.

Listing out a series of violent acts perpetrated by the CPI(M) in the name of observing ‘black day’ in protest against the Governor’s decision, Mr. Chandy said the Governor had only given the green signal for continuing the legal proceedings in the case and the CPI(M), instead of trying to wriggle out through undemocratic methods, should subject its leader to legal scrutiny in accordance with its own proclaimed stance that it would politically and legally face the issue.

He said the CPI(M) should first convince its Polit Bureau member and Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and its coalition partners that the Lavalin case was politically motivated. The case was a major poll issue and the people had delivered their verdict against the party’s attempts to escape from its responsibility. He asked the CPI(M) leadership to clarify what action should be taken against a person indicted by an investigating agency and whether it was for the party or court to absolve an accused public servant or administrator of serious charges.

He said the agitations against the Governor had created a serious situation. The Governor had merely performed his constitutional duties. There was no basis for the allegation that the United Democratic Front had influenced the Governor. Opposition leaders had met the Governor and submitted a memorandum on the issue in full public glare. The memorandum had pointed out a few well-settled Supreme Court cases for his consideration.

Mr. Chandy registered his protest against Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s statement that the government would take legal steps against the Governor’s action. He urged the CPI(M) to correct its mistakes even at this late stage. In reply to a question, Mr. Chandy said the Lavalin case started off as an ordinary one when the CBI started its probe. The CPI(M)’s persistent attempts to scuttle the probe had led to suspicion among people.

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