Terming Kerala Governor RS Gavai’s go-ahead to the prosecution of party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in a graft case, the CPM has said that it will fight the case both “politically and legally”.
The party politburo, in a statement, described the CBI case as “politically motivated”.
“It is unfortunate that the Governor of Kerala decided to grant permission to the CBI to initiate prosecution proceedings against Vijayan. The CPM will fight the case both politically and legally,” the statement said.
In meanwhile, Governor RS Gavai received an unnamed threat call to give nod to Vijayan’s prosecution. After receiving the call late Sunday night, the Raj Bhavan filed a complaint with police.
The anonymous caller warned the Governor of serious consequences for giving permission to the CBI to prosecute CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the Lavalin scam.
Sources in the police say that the call was traced to a booth in a Gulf country.
Chief Minister V S Ahuthanandan, who is a rival of Vijayan, also spoke out on the issue. He, however, indicated that it is not for his government to react, but there will be a political reaction, which will be taken after a CPM politburo meeting.
“The entire issue will be discussed at length by the Politburo and appropriate decision will be taken,” he said.
Vijayan had earned the dubious distinction of becoming the first CPM Politburo member to face prosecution in a corruption case.
The CBI sought prosecution of Vijayan with regard to alleged corruption and irregularities in awarding contracts for renovation of three hydroelectric projects to Canadian company SNC-Lavalin when he was Power Minister in 1998.
The decision of the Governor to prosecute the 65-year-old CPM leader came despite the party-led government in Kerala advising against the move. The state unit of CPM had announced a shutdown in Kerala on Monday to protest the Governor’s action but it was called off after the central leadership intervened.