March 2, 2006
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, today denied the charge that the UDF Government had referred the controversial SNC-Lavalin-Kerala State Electricity Board deal to the CBI to derive political mileage in the coming assembly polls.
Answering questions on the issue at a press meet here, he said the government’s credibility would have been questioned if it had remained silent after the Vigilance Department filed a FIR when a probe report on it was under government scrutiny.
The government did not want to create an impression in the minds of the people that both the ruling UDF and Opposition LDF were hand in glove in the case, he said.
The deal pertains to awarding a contract for renovation of three hydroelectric projects – Pallivasal, Sengulam and Panniar – to the Canadian company SNC-Lavalin, which allegedly caused a huge financial loss to the state. The final contract was signed in 1997 by the then LDF Government, when Pinarayi Vijayan was Electricity Minister.