Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Congress (Jacob) leader T.M. Jacob has said that the Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan himself was aware in advance of the Prime Minister’s proposed Kerala visit and ISRO deal. In a statement here on Friday, he said that it was Mr. Achuthanandan who told the press after the May 31 Cabinet meeting that the Prime Minister would visit Kerala. The Chief Minister said that the space institute would come up near Vithura in Thiruvananthapuram and that it was for laying the stone that the Prime Minister was coming. Mr. Achuthanandan said he had discussed the matter with the Prime Minister and Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh when he went to New Delhi during the last week of May to attend the National Development Council meeting and the Prime Minister had agreed to lay the foundation of the institute. These pronouncements were carried in the next day’s newspapers.

Mr. Jacob argued that the Chief Minister’s later contention that he was not aware of the Prime Minister’s proposed visit was contrary to facts. Similarly, when he said that the institute would come up near Vithura it was clear that it would be located in Ponmudi. So much land was not available anywhere else.

He said it was for something which Mr. Achuthanandan had disclosed three months ago that he had blamed the then Chief Secretary Lizzie Jacob.