The Times of India
March 14, 2006
The Congress on Tuesday accused the central leadership of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) of involvement in a controversial deal with SNC-Lavalin, a Canadian firm.
“If they are not involved, why are they (central leaders) making so much efforts to protect CPI-M state secretary Pinnarayi Vijayan even as a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report has indicted him? This is intriguing,” Kerala Congress president Ramesh Chennithala told reporters here.
Chennithala was reacting to the CPI-M statement issued from New Delhi on Monday saying the state government’s decision to hand over the SNC-Lavalin case to the Central Bureau of Investigation was a political move ahead of the assembly polls.
The CAG report on the controversial 1996 deal with SNC-Lavalin for the renovation and modernisation of three hydroelectric projects of the state electricity board was tabled in the assembly last month.
The central body indicted Vijayan, the then power minister, for giving his nod to the agreement, adding there were deviations from prescribed procedures in selection of these projects and in the award of the contract.
“The silence of the CPI-M national leaders shows (they) too (are) involved in the shady deal,” said Chennithala.