KERALA

Lavalin issue: LDF stance criticised

Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: United Democratic Front (UDF) convener P.P. Thankachan on Sunday criticised the failure of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) State committee to discuss the SNC Lavalin issue at its meeting here on Saturday.

The UDF convener said in a statement here that it was the duty and responsibility of the ruling party to expose those who were behind the alleged large-scale corruption. However, the party leaders had refrained from discussing the issue for fear of the CPI(M). “It showed the lack of responsibility and cowardice of the LDF leaders,” he said.

CPI State secretary Veliyam Bhargavan had maintained that the alleged corruption case involving Rs. 374.5 crore was an internal affair of the CPI (M). People saw this as part of a strategy to get the Rajya Sabha seat for his party, the UDF convener said.

Mr. Thankachan noted that Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan had attended the meetings of the State committee of both the CPI(M) and the LDF last week. It was surprising that the Lavalin issue was not discussed in his presence though the case was being debated at the State and national levels. This was because the CPI(M) feared that the Chief Minister would express his opinions frankly.

“The silence of the LDF constituents under these circumstances is meaningful. They had so far not stated that the case is politically motivated,” he said.

Corruption charge

Staff Reporter writes from Kollam: The UDF convener said the SNC Lavalin case was the biggest corruption case in the State. He was inaugurating a district convention of the Kerala Matsya Thozhilali Congress (KMTC) here.

Mr. Thankachan said the CBI had investigated the case on a directive of the Kerala High Court. The CBI had found that CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan was involved in the case. So, why should the Congress be blamed for that, he asked.

Mr. Thankachan called upon the State government to write off the loans of fishermen. District president of the KMTC G. Leelakrishnan presided over the meeting.

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