On State's Vigilance clearance for P.J. Thomas

: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Wednesday refuted the contention of the Maharashtra Chief Minister and former Union Minister of State for Personnel, Prithviraj Chavan, that the Kerala government had given the Vigilance clearance for P.J. Thomas, who was subsequently appointed Central Vigilance Commissioner.

‘Baseless'

Mr. Achuthanandan said in a statement here that Mr. Chavan was trying to put the blame over the appointment on the Kerala government. “His allegation is totally baseless. Mr. Chavan is challenging the common sense of the people.”

Mr. Achuthanandan said the Congress leaders were trying to wriggle out of the responsibility after the Union government received strong strictures from the Supreme Court over the appointment of the Commissioner.

Though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh owned up responsibility, the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha wanted him to state the reasons for his failure.

His answer was that Mr. Chavan was responsible for putting up the file.

Mr. Achuthanandan said the government had mentioned the palmolein case, in which Mr. Thomas is one of the accused, in the letter sent regarding his deputation to the Centre. Still, Mr. Chavan was trying to put the blame on the State government.

“He should be acting in a manner befitting his position.”

Mr. Achuthanandan said the State had mentioned the palmolein casein the letter sent to the Centre.

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