New Delhi: Hours after several television channels aired the news that a high-level committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, in Kerala on Friday asked V.S. Achuthanandan to step down as chief minister, the party has denied any such move.
“There is no such decision,” said politburo member S. Ramachandran Pillai.
Reports said that the CPM’s state secretariat on Friday asked Achuthanandan to resign following his insistence on a federal probe against party chief Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin graft case.
On Thursday, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had decided to go by the Kerala advocate general’s opinion against giving permission to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute Vijayan. Despite the CPM politburo backing Vijayan, calling the CBI’s move to prosecute him as “politically motivated”, Achuthanandan is believed to have voiced reservations on rushing to such a conclusion.
Meanwhile, a top CPM leader said on condition of anonymity that the state secretariat has been instructed by the central leadership to deny the “move” to ask the chief minister to resign.
The scam relates to the award of contract for renovation of some state hydro-electric projects to Canadian company SNC Lavlin in 1998. Vijayan, who was then electricity minister, is accused of having unduly favoured the foreign firm over Indian companies, causing huge losses to the exchequer.