Staff Reporter

KOLLAM: RSP(B) leader Shibu Baby John said the controversial meeting between Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan (then Leader of the Opposition) and JSS leader K.R. Gouri at the Government Guest House here was one that raised several questions in political circles.

At a press conference here on Friday, he said he was not aware of any monetary offer made by Mr. Achuthanandan for the alleged plot to topple the A.K. Antony Government with Ms. Gowri's help.

Mr. Shibu said there were in fact three attempts to topple the A.K. Antony Government. These were during the Rajya Sabha election, the Thiruvalla byelection and at the time of the resignation of Congress MLAs. Twenty six MLAs from the UDF had cross voted.

"A finger of suspicion even pointed towards me", he said. He said though his party leader at that time A.V. Thamarakshan had asked him to vote for Kodoth Govindan Nair, he stood by the UDF.

Mr. Shibu said the Kerala Congress(B) MLA K.B. Ganesh Kumar also came under suspicion. "But both of us decided to stand by the official side". He denied allegations of RSP(M) leader Babu Divakaran that he had taken sides with Prof Thamarakshan to become a minister in the alternative Government supposed to assume power after the toppling game.

Mr. Shibu said he could have become a minister in the Oommen Chandy. He said majority in the party had proposed him as the nominee in the Cabinet.

"It was only because I rejected it that Mr. Babu Divakaran was able to continue as minister in the Oommen Chandy Cabinet". He said the misunderstanding between him and Mr. Divakaran cropped on account of the many anti-worker policies announced by Mr. Diavakaran as Labour Minister.