Achuthanandan, Chandy face-off over vigilance case
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Last Updated: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 19:53
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.


First Published: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 19:53

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