Thiruvananthapuram: Facing a vigilance case
over assigning land to a relative when he was chief minister,
CPI-M stalwart V S Achuthanandan on Thursday hit back at the
Congress-led UDF Ministry alleging political motive behind
the action against him, a charge rejected by the government.
A day after the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB)
recommended registering a case against Achuthanandan and seven
others, including former minister K P Rajendran of CPI, the
Marxist veteran asserted that the charges against him were
baseless and he would battle the case politically and legally.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy dared Achuthanandan to come
clean on the vital question if the person who got the land was
his relative or not and whether he was aware of the cabinet
decision which allegedly involved irregularity.
The vigilance recommended registration of the case for
alleged irregularities in assigning 2.33 acres of land in
Sherny village in Kasargode district to ex-serviceman K P
Soman, a relative of Achuthanandan.
Accusing the Chandy Government of `misusing` VACB with
political motives, Achuthanandan told reporters in Alappuzha
that "this is a totally false case and you will see how I am
going to fight it legally and politically."
Raising the pitch, Achuthanandan alleged the move against
him was the handiwork of the UDF Ministry and also his
adversaries outside the government who he had sought to expose
at different points of time.
"People of the state know me well as I have been in public
life for decades," the 87-year-old leader said.
He said the State Industries Minister and IUML leader P K
Kunhalikutty, Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai
and suspended IGP Tomin J Thachankary were behind the move to
file the case against him.
When his attention was drawn to Achuthanandan`s assertion,
Chandy said here that the Marxist leader had every right to
allege political motive.
But, Achuthanandan himself should tell the people whether
the persons who received the land was his relative or not
and whether he was in the dark about the cabinet decision.
On whether the development warranted Achuthanandan`s
resignation as the Leader of the Opposition in the state
Assembly, Chandy said, "it is for his (Achuthanandan`s)
conscience to respond to that question."
State Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, who
holds the Vigilance portfolio, said there was no truth in the
allegation of political vendetta.
Though the party was yet to come out with an official
reaction to the development, CPI(M) leader and former Minister
A K Balan said this was a `politically motivated` attempt to
tarnish the image of Achuthanandan who was seen by the people
as a crusader against corruption.
Meanwhile, the youth wing of the IUML conducted a march at
the land assigned to Soman in Kasargode demanding that it be
apportioned and given to landless families.